IMG_4206 (1)
IMG_4206 (1)

Malcolm X College, Chicago, IL

With more than 16,000 credit and noncredit students roaming its facilities, Malcolm X College wanted to install flooring that would be easy to maintain despite the burden of heavy foot traffic.

Terrazzo, offering a combination of longevity, color choices and easy maintenance, turned out to be the ideal choice. The higher education institution near Chicago’s West Side liked that it can withstand heavy usage and the test of time.

Drew Deering, a project manager for Moody Nolan who worked on the site, said the school was very specific in what it wanted. “Durability and reduced operations,” he said. “How easy it is to clean and maintain over time in a school facility that’s very well used.”

While the strength and resilience of the floor is a major selling point, the look is sure to catch your eye first. The college selected grey and white terrazzo with a sharp-looking aggregate.

“One of our clients favored the mother of pearl aggregate,” Deering said. “That gives it the [sparkle].”

Pre-manufactured terrazzo was used for the vertical installations on the grand stairs to maintain the terrazzo look, but the rest of the terrazzo was installed in the first floor lobby, near the college’s elevators and in an upper level seating area.

Though the colors are muted, they work in terms of longevity, and the use of terrazzo within the long hallways and corridors created a clean, uniform look.

“We had very long hallways,” Deering said. “Some are 100 feet long, so it gave a great visual effect of having one solid material going along those corridors. You can always repaint walls, but you can’t always redo floors.”

Project details

  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Project Name: Malcolm X College
  • Owner/Client: City Colleges of Chicago
  • Terrazzo Contractor: Menconi Terrazzo
  • Architect: Moody Nolan
  • General Contractor: CMO Joint Venture - Clark Construction, McKissack & McKissack, and Old Veteran Construction
  • Terrazzo Material Supplier: Terrazzo & Marble Supply Co.
  • Divider Strip Supplier: Manhattan American Terrazzo Strip Co
  • Precast Treads & Custom Base: Wausau Tile
  • Photography: Mike Fetro, Terrazzo & Marble Supply Co.

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