Harlem High School

Thin-set Epoxy Terrazzo Works for Schools
Owner: Harlem High School
Architect: Bradley & Bradley, Rockford, IL
Photographer: Brian Thomas
Installer: R. D. Roman, Rockford, IL

Harlem High School in McChesney Park, Illinois, like many schools, needed to expand their facility and remodel their existing building. The floors where originally finished with vinyl composition tile and carpeting. In the hallways the carpeting was replaced every six to seven years. Mr. Jerry Fischer, Principal at Harlem High School and Mr. John Canova, Assistant Superintendent, toured some of the other schools in the Chicago area and were impressed with the terrazzo floors from both a maintenance and aesthetics perspective.

It was important to the Project Architect, Mr. Phil Fadden, to specify a flooring system which would be easy to maintain, resist black heal marks, and integrate with the overall design and the natural finishes in the school. Thin-set Epoxy Terrazzo 1100 was specified for the 38,000 sf renovation of the cafeteria for a number of reasons. From a practical perspective, thin-set epoxy terrazzo required very little elevation change when transitioning to other finishes. The system had a proven track record of long-lasting performance and easy maintenance combined to yield an excellent economical life cycle cost. Finally, the design and color selection could be easily customized for Harlem High School.

RD Roman was awarded the contract and recommended the use of EPO-FLEX® flexible epoxy for crack treatment after reviewing the condition of the concrete. EPO-FLEX epoxy was installed with a fiberglass scrim over all of the existing cracks to help eliminate reflective cracking through the new terrazzo floor. As installation proceeded, both the architect and school officials were impressed enough to convince the School Board to expand the scope and include thin-set epoxy terrazzo in place of carpet in all of hallways and entryways throughout the school (approximately 90,000 additional square feet). All parties worked together on the scheduling so that the installation did not interfere with classroom activities when school opened in the fall of 2000.

In this case everyone came out winners. The students have a new facility built with long lasting quality materials that they can be proud to attend. The architect, installation contractor and General Polymers Terrazzo Representative can refer to this facility as a success story for years to come. And most importantly, the School Board and community have a school that is built to last and can be easily maintained for many generations.

For additional information on EPO-FLEX crack bridging membrane or Thin-set Epoxy Terrazzo please visit the Products and Systems area of the web site. To receive product literature, please call us at 800-543-7694 or email us at: info@generalpolymers.com.