Historically, one-room schoolhouses let children know the school day was about to begin with the ringing of a bell atop the building. When renovating W.C. Reavis Elementary School, the Lansing School District asked JMA Architects to pay homage to this tradition in its designs for the building’s additions.
Completed in two phases, the renovations included a new main entry, principal’s office, classrooms, conference rooms, library, gym, restrooms, and a teacher’s planning room. Updates were made to current office spaces, the art room, classrooms, and the school’s cafeteria.
The entryway includes a modernized bell tower with a custom light fixture. To continue this bell design on the floor, JMA Architects created a custom terrazzo design using the school’s color scheme of reds, greys, and whites.
“The design is reflective of the light fixture acting as a bell clanger,” Gail Barenie, JMA Architects, said. “The sound waves of the bell are continued in the pattern, traveling from that main entrance down the corridor.”
The arc pattern is carried throughout the school, with gypsum circle light fixtures and perforated panels at classroom doorways.
“We tried to use the circle everywhere we could from small scale to the large scale to bring the design to the entire school,” Barenie said.
Terrazzo wasn’t only chosen because of its ability to continue the arc design on the floor though. The school district requested terrazzo be used in the entryway and corridors due to is durability and maintenance ease.
“The district prefers terrazzo,” Barenie said. “They would like to use it in all their schools.”
PROJECT: W. C. Reavis Elementary School (Lansing, IL)
CLIENT: Lansing School District #158
TERRAZZO CONTRACTOR: John Caretti & Co. (Morton Grove, IL)
ARCHITECT: JMA Architects (South Holland, IL)
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: JMA Architects (South Holland, IL)
TERRAZZO MATERIAL(S) SUPPLIER: Terrazzo & Marble Supply Co. (Wheeling, IL)
DIVIDER STRIPS SUPPLIER: Manhattan American Terrazzo Strip Co. (Staley, NC)
PHOTOGRAPHY: Viken Djaferian (Wausau, WI)