Terrazzo Turns a High School into a Signature Building for a Community

Terrazzo Turns a High School into a Signature Building for a Community

Terrazzo Turns a High School into a Signature Building for a Community

Hart County High School, Munfordville, KY

When the Hart County Board of Education decided the county’s only high school needed to be replaced, it was no small project. Not only did the new high school need to be built on the same campus, it had to be in the same place. During the project, students were housed in one wing of the old building while the new building was erected.

Architect Kenny Stanfield knew terrazzo flooring was perfect for the high school. Terrazzo has “an aesthetic quality to it, and its durability makes it great for high foot traffic areas such as hallways, cafeterias, and lobbies.”


The terrazzo design capitalized on academic themes to create wayfinding throughout the school. DNA strands indicate the science wing, while the music wing features musical notes and staffs. Similar thematic designs were used for such areas as agriculture or humanities. Terrazzo not only provided wayfinding but also created a thematic definition for the building.

The intricate terrazzo designs help set the school apart, making it a distinctive building in the county. As the only high school in the county, Hart County High School is an important community building. Since every child goes to that building for education, it becomes a community unifier where everyone feels welcome and wants to be. “Terrazzo helped make it a signature building,” asserted Stanfield.

PROJECT NAME: Hart County High School
OWNER/CLIENT:  Hart County Board of Education
TILE INSTALLATION: Martina Brothers Co, Inc.
ARCHITECT: Sherman Carter Barnhart Architects
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Alliance Corporation
PRECAST SUPPLIER: Venosa Precast Terrazzo

Best of NCTA 2018

Time-tested terrazzo techniques show breadth, beauty, and versatility.

Best of NCTA 2018

Breadth, Beauty, Versatility

Each year, the North Central Terrazzo Association gathers to discuss advances in technology, to refine industry techniques, and to build camaraderie across our association. We seek to make time-tested terrazzo techniques even better.

We also look back at the projects completed by our association members that show the breadth, beauty, and versatility of terrazzo flooring. Many of these projects are award-winning designs and installations, and they include hospitals, colleges, research centers, sports arenas, transportation hubs, and churches.

Join us as we celebrate some of the finest projects the contractors of the North Central Terrazzo Association have created.

Terrazzo Revamps Vacant Building into Health Pavilion

TJ Samson Terrazzo

To expand its outpatient healthcare services in Barren County, KY, the T.J. Samson Community Hospital transformed a vacant Walmart into a centralized healthcare pavilion serving south central Kentucky.

The hospital reinvested in its local community by repurposing previous retail space into a facility that houses all outpatient services, including: kidney care, radiology, T.J. Urgent Care, lab and rehabilitation services, a women’s center, and T.J. Health partners physicians’ offices.

TJ Samson terrazzo hallway

The 126,000-square-foot pavilion includes more than 26,000 feet of terrazzo in a four-color radial pattern. The facility’s atrium includes radial steps that consist of poured-in-place terrazzo in two colors. The entire project was finished with a high polish.

Though the building was repurposed, Anna Tatman, of Rosa Mosaic, said the terrazzo installation still included several challenges: spanning over existing and new concrete slabs along with finishing large areas of the terrazzo floor while coordinating with the overhead work of other tradespersons in the atrium.

The flooring pattern encourages traffic through the health pavilion. It also establishes enclaves where patients and healthcare providers can interact. Terrazzo was the ideal flooring for the design due to its free-form, fluid look and its wide range of color options.

TJ Samson Hospital terrazzo

“It’s durable and can be maintained easily even with patients and guests at the facility 24 hours a day,” Tatman said. “It’s a wonderful flooring option for healthcare facilities.”

Project Name: T.J. Samson Health Pavilion, Glasgow, KY

Client: T.J. Samson Hospital, Glasgow, KY

Terrazzo Contractor: Rosa Mosaic and Tile Co., Louisville, KY

Architect: Stengel Hill Architecture, Louisville, KY

General Contractor: Alliance Corporation, Glasgow, KY

Terrazzo Material(s) Supplier: (Epoxy, Chips) Terrazzo and Marble Supply Companies, Wheeling, IL

Divider Strips Supplier: National Metal Shapes, Inc., Delaware, OH

Photography: David Laudadio

Artists: Inner Design Studio, Brentwood, TN

Terrazzo Complements Traditions of Courthouse

Franklin Courthouse terrazzo

Located in downtown Frankfort, KY, the Franklin County Courthouse and Judicial Center served as one of the most historic and recognizable buildings in the state capitol. Originally completed in 1835, a jail and annex were later added in 1949 and 1968 respectively.

But by 2010, the Greek revival style building was no longer able to meet the space and design needs of the county seat of Franklin County.

Franklin County terrazzo staircase

Construction on the new judicial center began and incorporated as much of the historic courthouse as possible, with the new facility wrapping around the old. The marble-lined entryway, stairs, brass chandeliers, and cherry paneling and benches of the original courthouse were all restored to reflect the historic importance of the building. In addition to honoring the building’s history, the new facility was designed to greatly enhance the delivery of court services. It is equipped with the latest computer, video, networking, and security technologies.

Terrazzo was the perfect flooring material to combine the historic attributes of the original courthouse with these modern updates to the facility.

Franklin County terrazzo

Dino Martina, Martina Bros. Co., said one of the challenges of the project was in the installation of complicated precast terrazzo stair treads. The treads were welded into place on a spiral staircase.

“The treads were installed in a small area which made it difficult to use lifts and scaffolds,” Martina said. “Design and installation required special coordination between the stair fabricator and the precast tread fabricator.”

The result? Martina Bros. successfully combined history and tradition with modern design to make the judicial center unique and classic.

Franklin County terrazzo flooring

As Martina said, “Blending the old existing courthouse with the new creates something spectacular.”


PROJECT: Franklin County Judicial Center (Frankfort, KY)
CLIENT: Franklin County Public Properties Corporation (Frankfort, KY)
TERRAZZO CONTRACTOR: Martina Bros. Co. (Lexington, KY) 
ARCHITECT: Louis & Henry Group (Lexington, KY)
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Codell Construction (Winchester, KY) 
TERRAZZO MATERIAL SUPPLIER: (Epoxy, Chips) Terrazzo and Marble Supply Companies (Wheeling, IL) 
DIVIDER STRIPS SUPPLIER: National Metal Shapes (Delaware, OH) 
PRECAST WORK: Santarossa Mosaic & Tile (Indianapolis, IN) 
PHOTOGRAPHY: David Laudadio (Wake Forest, NC)

Terrazzo Targets Tomorrow’s Minds With Interactive Design

Brooks Elementary terrazzo

Brooks Elementary School isn’t your typical elementary school. You won’t find mascots on the walls or floor. The walls aren’t painted only school colors, and the school name around every corner.

Instead, you will find elegant geometric designs reminiscent of a high-end office building, with just the right pop of color to intrigue the young minds that walk the halls.

Throughout the project, Rosa Mosaic worked closely with the architecture firm discussing the high polish finish process, maintenance, and color development. These colors are reflected on the floors, walls, and ceilings, creating a vibrant and interactive educational space.

As soon as a student enters the school, this interaction begins with a broken star compass terrazzo design.

Brooks Elementary terrazzo hallway

“To the children, the broken star and the directions show that the elementary school is the center of their world and everything goes out north, south, east, and west from there,” Rosa Mosaic’s Anna Tatman said.

In another hallway a purple, green, and white checkerboard transitions into an orange and purple hopscotch pattern. “It’s very directional,” Tatman said. “It draws you into that corridor and makes you want to hop down the hall.”

No wonder the intriguing designs at Brooks won an NTMA Honor Award.

“The district was so very excited about the quality of finishes that were going into the building. They felt like terrazzo was an investment that was worthwhile because it would be helping to teach the minds of tomorrow,” Tatman said. “They really did put the dollars into where the kids were going to be. It’s a testimony to what we need to concentrate on when we work with schools—the kids.”

Brooks Elementary terrazzo corridor

Project: Brooks Elementary School (Brooks, KY)
Client: Bullitt County Public Schools (Shepherdsville, KY)
Terrazzo Contractor: Rosa Mosaic & Tile (Louisville, KY)
Architect: Sherman, Carter, Barnhart PSC (Louisville, KY)
General Contractor: Derek Engineering, Inc (Louisville, KY)
Material Suppliers
Resin Supplier: Terrazzo & Marble Supply Companies (Wheeling, IL)
Aggregate Supplier: Southern Aggregates (Staley, NC)
Divider Strips: Manhattan American Terrazzo Strip Co. (Staley, NC)
Photography: David Laudadio

Terrazzo Maps Out Early American History

frazier history museum terrazzo

One of first things you notice when you reach the second floor of the Frazier History Museum is an intricate map of the American colonies, complete with waterways, towns, and topographic contour lines. But, it’s not in a display case or framed on the wall. You’ll find it beneath your feet, as an amazing terrazzo floor, leading you on an incredible journey through early America. Located in a historic building in downtown Louisville, Frazier History Museum is home to a collection of historical arms and artifacts. 

When Mr. Owsley Brown Frazier, the original owner of the building, decided he needed a place to display his historical arms and other artifacts, he presented Rosa Mosaic & Tile with a challenge. While he wanted the first floor to remain neutral, he asked that the design for the second floor create a historic vignette of colonial America. 

frazier history museum terrazzo map

“They wanted to show geographically where the colonies were located and highlight some of the waterways and towns that were important and the trek westward,” Anna Tatman of Rosa Mosaic & Tile said. 

Because of the blending that was done to create the shoreline of the Atlantic and the topographic aspects of the land, much of the design is done without divider strips. To make sure the shop drawings would be replicated on the floor, Rosa Mosaic worked hand and glove with artist Tom Pfannerstill. Tatman said a large part of Pfannerstill’s job was to ensure there was a good transition between different shades of blues that create the sense of shallow to deep water. Pfannerstill also worked with Rosa Mosaic to make clear distinctions between the Appalachian Mountains and the flat lands.

Fraizer history museum terrazzo waterway 

Because of terrazzo’s design flexibility, Tatman said it was the perfect material for the design of the Frazier Museum floor. 

“It gave us incredible design capabilities to help create history—in the floor—of the early American experience.”


Job Name: Frazier History Museum (Louisville, KY)

Client: The Frazier History Museum Board of Directors 

Terrazzo Contractor: Rosa Mosaic & Tile Company  (Louisville, KY)

Architect: K. Norman Berry Associates (Louisville, KY)

General Contractor: Bosse Mattingly Constructors (Louisville, KY)

Terrazzo Material Suppliers:

                Epoxy: Key Resin Company (Batavia, OH)

                Chips/aggregate: Terrazzo & Marble Supply Companies (Wheeling, IL)

                                             Key Resin Company (Batavia, OH)

Divider Strips Supplier: Manhattan American Terrazzo Strip Company (Staley, NC)

Photography: David Laudadio

Terrazzo Creates Whirlwind of School Spirit

Paducah Middle School

As powerful as a tornado, a good education has the ability to cause remarkable change. Once absorbed, knowledge is carried to places much further than where it began, elevating students to new heights. Paducah Middle School embraces its mascot and provides a wealth of inspiration right as you enter the school.

Greeting you on the floor of the main entrance spins a 24-foot Fighting Tornado, the school mascot, armed with a book and pencil, full of school spirit and ready to learn.

Paducah Middle School Tornado

The Fighting Tornado logo in the terrazzo lobby floor is made complete by a surrounding compass with an arrow pointed to the high school, the students’ next stop in their education. Motivational and inspiring words framed by yellow stars put the finishing touches on the centerpiece of the school’s terrazzo flooring.

“That’s to remind the students to reach for the stars in their academic and personal lives,” said Kevin Rickman, Missouri Terrazzo.

Chosen for its longevity and durability, 3/8-inch epoxy terrazzo is featured in 20,000 square feet of the brand new, 92,000-square-foot building.

Terrazzo continues in the hallways on both the first and second floors. White epoxy and an accenting radius blue epoxy border run along the lockers. Lining the hallways are 120 1-foot blue epoxy Fighting Tornadoes, continuing the display of Paducah school spirit.

The cafeteria features a staggering brick pattern of yellow and white epoxy terrazzo in a 3-foot-by-6-foot herringbone design.

Rickman said terrazzo is especially beneficial in the cafeterias, hallways, and lobbies of middle schools due to its ease to maintain and clean.

“Whether it’s spills or foot-traffic, the wear on terrazzo is excellent,” he said. “It’s the only floor to put in.”

PROJECT: Paducah Middle School (Paducah, KY)
CLIENT: Paducah Public Schools
TERRAZZO CONTRACTOR: Missouri Terrazzo (St. Louis, MO)
ARCHITECT: RBS Design Group Architecture (Owensboro, KY)
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: A & K Construction (Paducah, KY)
TERRAZZO MATERIAL SUPPLIER: Terrazzo & Marble Supply Companies (Wheeling, IL)
DIVIDER STRIP SUPPLIER: Manhattan American Terrazzo Strip (Staley, NC)
PHOTOGRAPHY: David Laudadio

Early Education

Early Education Hard Facts terrazzo

Children and their education are our future. The schools they attend must provide them with safety, support, and inspiration. This means longevity, durability, and sustainability are necessary components of the building’s design. Terrazzo flooring is ideal for this.

The inclusion of school logos, mascots, and colors in terrazzo flooring adds charm and excitement and rouses school spirit among students, faculty, and staff. As no two terrazzo floors are the same, schools know their floors display spirit and pride in a uniquely beautiful way.

Because of the thousands of feet that will pass over the floors, schools need to be certain the flooring will deliver the longevity and sustainability they need, all with minimal maintenance costs. As the wear on terrazzo is excellent and it is among the easiest flooring options to maintain, it provides schools with a hassle-free foundation.

In early education, the key is to inspire, energize, and intrigue students throughout the school day. The vibrancy and flexibility of terrazzo designs help to promote active thinking and learning in young minds.

Today, we not only think about educating children, but also how to keep them as healthy as possible. We often worry about the spreading of germs, especially in schools. Epoxy terrazzo is anti-microbial in many ways, as it doesn’t allow for the growth of bacteria or mold. This makes it perfect for education facilities around the country.

In this edition of Hard Facts, we take a look at some examples of how design and sustainability combine to create some truly inspiring schools.

Crossroads Elementary Hard Facts terrazzo
Crossroads Elementary School, KY

At Crossroads Elementary, the design was simple – color everywhere. From the paint on the walls to the terrazzo throughout the school, twelve different bright and bold colors promote active thinking and learning.

“The ease of using colors to make for very distinctive floors that is particular to the school is very appealing,” Anna Tatman of Rosa Mosaic Tile & Terrazzo said.

The colors used on the walls and on the floor of Crossroads not only serve as learning tools, but as directional markers as well. Each grade was assigned a color for the columns and walls at the entrance to its wing. The flexibility of terrazzo allowed for the color to be continued on the floors, leading children to their appropriate classrooms.

“They’ve created an energetic learning environment. Colors tend to make our brains active and they instill in us various reactions,” Tatman said. “They were able to use these colors to create a very active learning space. It’s a wonderfully exciting, bright, and active space.”

PROJECT: Crossroads Elementary School (Mount Washington, KY)
CLIENT: Bullitt County Public Schools
TERRAZZO CONTRACTOR: Rosa Mosaic & Tile Company (Louisville, KY)
ARCHITECT/DESIGNER: Clotfelter/Samokar, PSC (Lexington, KY)
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: F.W. Owens Co. Inc (Louisville, KY)
TERRAZZO MATERIAL(S) SUPPLIER: Terrazzo & Marble Supply Companies (Wheeling, IL)
DIVIDER STRIPS SUPPLIER: Manhattan American Terrazzo Strip Company (Staley, NC)

PHOTOGRAPHY: David Laudadio

Paducah Middle School Hard Facts terrazzo

Paducah Middle School, KY

Completed in 2013, Paducah Middle School is a brand new facility for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders in the Paducah Public Schools system. Kevin Rickman of Missouri Terrazzo said terrazzo was chosen for the hallways, lobby, and cafeteria of the new construction because of its durability and longevity.

At the entrance to the building is the school’s logo, a 24-foot blue Fighting Tornado. Consisting of nine colors, the logo depicts a Fighting Tornado armed with a book and pencil, ready to learn. The logo also features a compass, with a degree marker pointed towards Paducah Tilghan High School to remind the children of success and moving forward. Above the logo, the words “academic excellence” are surrounded by yellow stars.

“That’s to remind the students to reach for the stars with all their academic and personal lives,” Rickman said. “They really put a lot of thought into the design pattern to remind the kids to go above and beyond.”

The hallways on both the first and second floors feature a white epoxy with an accenting radius border of blue epoxy.  Within the white epoxy are 120 1 ft. high blue epoxy Fighting Tornadoes, promoting school spirit throughout the building.

PROJECT: Paducah Middle School (Paducah, KY)
CLIENT: Paducah Public Schools
TERRAZZO CONTRACTOR: Missouri Terrazzo (St. Louis, MO)
ARCHITECT: RBS Design Group Architecture (Owensboro, KY)
TERRAZZO MATERIAL SUPPLIER: Terrazzo & Marble Supply Companies (Wheeling, IL)
DIVIDER STRIP SUPPLIER: Manhattan American Terrazzo Strip Company (Staley, NC)
PHOTOGRAPHY: David Laudadio

West Ridge Hard Facts terrazzo
West Ridge Elementary School, IL

West Ridge Elementary is home to some truly inspiring terrazzo flooring, earning an NTMA honor award as well as LEED Silver certification. Each floor is a creative exploration of various educational themes that begin with the letter “p”, from the full number Pi embedded along one hallway to the planets in the solar system to a hall that has a chronological listing of the presidents.

“The artisans who were installing the terrazzo were so excited about their floors,” Mindy Viamontes, project manager/project architect with Muller & Muller, said. “They were so eager to uncover their work and show it off.”

In addition to the colors and the shapes, the floor design is something teachers can use in lessons. The planets are not labeled so students can identify them. The presidents hallways includes names and dates, but doesn’t include any additional information about their terms. Because the school was completed in 2010, the hallway is up-to-date and includes current president and Chicagoan, Barack Obama.

PROJECT: West Ridge Elementary School (Chicago, IL)
CLIENT: Public Building Commission (PBC) of Chicago for the Chicago Public Schools
TERRAZZO CONTRACTOR: John Caretti & Co. (Bensenville, IL)
ARCHITECT: Muller & Muller (Chicago, IL)
TERRAZZO MATERIAL SUPPLIER: Terrazzo & Marble Supply Companies (Wheeling, IL)
DIVIDER STRIP SUPPLIER: National Metal Shapes (Delaware, OH)


Uniting Past and Present with Terrazzo

Cathedral of Christ the King

The Cathedral of Christ the King that stands today in Lexington, Ky., was built in 1967 with elegant terrazzo floors that still shine today. In the decades since its consecration, the cathedral has seen its parish grow to more than 3,000 families. In response, Christ the King, which has been the cathedral for the Diocese of Lexington since 1988, embarked on a $5.3 million expansion project. The additions include a new perpetual adoration chapel for the Eucharist, a new altar tabernacle, a baptistery, and a rectory building. In both the new chapel and baptistery, new terrazzo was installed that matches the legacy terrazzo perfectly.

“If you didn’t know any better, you’d think it was part of the original,” says Dino Martina, whose firm Martina Brothers Co. served as terrazzo contractor on the project.In the new baptistery, a marble baptismal font adjoins a small terrazzo pool for the total immersion of adults as they are baptized. There was a lot of preparation and craftsmanship that was involved in installing the terrazzo for the pool: Metal strips along the rim depicting intricate crowns and crosses had to be carefully filled with terrazzo, and the terrazzo steps were poured in place after the contractors ensured that every dimension of the octagonal pool was accurate.The church and its congregation celebrated the completion of the project with a consecration in the spring, just in time for baptisms during the Easter vigil.

CLIENT: Cathedral of Christ the King
PROJECT: Chapel, Baptistery
ARCHITECT & DESIGNER: Murphy + Graves Architects
DIVIDER STRIPS: Manhattan American Terrazzo Strip Company

NTMA Honors Awards 2011

Yum center terrazzo

A hearty congratulations to the Rosa Mosaic and Tile Company, of Louisville, Kentucky, for creating the best terrazzo flooring in the country in 2010! The National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association (NTMA) Job of the Year went to Rosa Mosaic for 19,000 square feet of terrazzo installed at the KFC Yum! Center. The arena seats 22,000 sports fans and serves as the home court for the University of Louisville Cardinals basketball team.

A vibrant color palette of red, white, black, and yellow, graces the main lobby and the grand staircase. Rosa Mosaic also won an Honor award this year for the terrazzo hallways at Brooks Elementary School in Brooks, Kentucky. Rosa Mosaic was founded by Italian immigrant Louis Rosa in 1937. Louis hired another immigrant, John Cristofoli, in 1950, and today the Christofoli family continues providing excellent terrazzo.

Other 2011 Honor Award Winners featuring NCTA members include:

To view more terrazzo samples, visit the NCTA’s Design Gallery, or view the Terrazzo Color Palette.You can learn more about the NCTA here.