When the Designing Spaces team called a few months ago to ask if we’d take part in a very special makeover episode for the Neva King Cooper Educational Center in Homestead, Florida, we didn’t need to think twice.
Helping create a better future for our customers and our communities is a commitment shared by our whole Philadelphia Commercial team, and our entire company, so working with Designing Spaces to transform two of the school’s most critical classrooms was a perfect fit.
Originally opened as an elementary school in 1913, Neva King Cooper Educational Center became a special educational center for Miami-Dade County in the mid-1980’s, when it began focusing on providing educational programs for students between the ages of three and 22 with severe intellectual disabilities.
While extensive renovations in the 1980’s helped prepare the center to support students with special needs, it recently became clear that further updates would better help the school fulfill its goal of giving all students the tools needed to communicate independently and grow and develop to their maximum potential.
That’s where Designing Spaces stepped in and called on us for help.
With two of the Center’s most important classrooms in need of renovation, the Designing Spaces team needed to find the flooring that delivered high performance and durability without compromising on the aesthetics and style designer Kalyn Rothaus and her team envisioned.
First, we worked with Kalyn to select our Multiplicity carpet tiles in six complementary colors for the Center’s Sensory Room, a tactile, multi-sensory, playful space designed to help students engage in a variety of experiences and lessons, from color and touch to music and light.
When we learned the students interact with the sensory space in a multitude of ways – from sitting on bean bags to playing on the floor – we knew soft surface flooring would be an important way of helping create a warm, welcoming feel while also enhancing the room’s vibrant energy. Busy foot traffic, heavy rolling chairs, classroom furnishings and equipment, and the high potential for drops or spills were equally important considerations, making our Multiplicity modular carpet tile with EcoWorx backing the ideal combination of style, comfort and high performance.
In addition, glue-down installation and the tiles’ modular nature make them a smart choice for long-term maintenance. While it’s pretty tough to stain or damage our tiles, if a section does need to be replaced, the school can simply swap out the individual tiles in question instead of replacing the entire floor.
Long overdue for an update, the Center’s Home Economics classroom was also on the makeover list.
With a full kitchen, washer and dryer and other household appliances, flooring for this room also needed to withstand the additional challenges of a high moisture environment.
One of our luxury vinyl products, In the Grain, offered the perfect option for this busy classroom.
Featuring the texture and warmth of hardwood floors but with high moisture resistance and fast, easy cleanability (a must for a kid-filled kitchen!), In the Grain fit perfectly with Kalyn’s vision for an engaging, home-like space. Better yet, it paired beautifully with some custom-designed cabinetry, up-to-the-minute appliances and our own white ceramic subway-style wall tile.
Best of all, though, was the joy shared by students and teachers alike when they saw the newly designed spaces for the first time. Our brand and our company have a long history of helping others and helping our communities, and when doing so helps create an even brighter future for kids in need of an extra helping hand, it means more than ever.
Watch the full episode below or on the Designing Spaces site!