The project-based, alternative-track educational facility Phoenix High School in Kennewick, WA, set out to build a learning environment like no other. “It’s not a traditional high school; the students sit in their own desks all day long. They don’t move from classroom to classroom. That is their learning space. Then there is an open area where they are constantly doing presentations of things they are working on. So it’s a wide-open collaborative concept,” says Doug Carl, director of capital projects.

Acoustic Control is Top Priority at this Open-Plan Alternative High School

The district purchased a 19,000-square-foot building, the majority of which is dedicated to the program, and began renovations. noraplan® sentica was selected to outfit the bulk of the space, replacing existing carpet tile and VCT. The school quickly realized that rubber flooring offered more than just maintenance benefits. “With carpet, our main problem was keeping the floor clean from all the spills students had throughout the day. In this new building, that was still a concern and part of the reason we chose nora. But now we also had to consider acoustics. nora softens the echoes of an open expanse, allowing students to better learn and concentrate,” says Carl.

Acoustic Control is Top Priority at this Open-Plan Alternative High School

Not only is the environment more beneficial to learning, but more comfortable as well. “Finding a hard-surface flooring that felt soft underfoot was important to us as well,” Carl continues. “Students and teachers spend their days walking and standing on the floor, so we wanted it to be comfortable.”

To learn more, read our project brief about Phoenix High School