Case Study Bayside High School

Project Details
Project: Bayside High School
Segment: Education
Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia
DESIGNER / ARCHITECT: Rodriguez Ripley Maddux Motley (RRMM) Architects

For the 1,800 students and staff at Bayside High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia, the “Marlins” represent much more than the 2003 World Series Baseball Champions. As the school’s mascot, this fighting sport fish is depicted as a logo on the football teams’ uniforms, on the cover of the annual yearbook, and even on the floors. A cruise down the school’s hallways leads you over waves of ocean colors on the floor and face-to-face with, or rather foot-to-fin with, colorful Marlins dashing underneath.

Designer Leigh Barker, director of interior design for Rodriguez Ripley Maddux Motley (RRMM) Architects based in Norfolk, Virginia, decided to incorporate the school mascot into the flooring’s splashy design after the firm undertook the school’s renovation project, which was scheduled and completed over the 2003 summer school break. The existing terrazzo substrate in the 40-year old school had problems that were too expensive and too time consuming to correct. The original vinyl composition tile on the substrate was due for replacement too. RRMM specified linoleum for the new floor covering because the firm is committed to using natural products to support their sustainable design efforts. Armstrong linoleum is made from natural, renewable raw materials including organic pigments, wood dust, linseed oil and jute backing, which translates into a preferred high performance, low environmental impact flooring system.

Barker says, “When the school administration accepted linoleum for the floor covering, we were happy because linoleum allows us to be creative and original with custom insets. Armstrong MARMORETTE™ was chosen because it cuts easily, and met all of our specifications for color selection, durability and lifecycle costs.”

The Bayside school colors of red and gold are used throughout the facility. RRMM focused on the red, creating a silhouette design of the Marlin mascot in red linoleum. The Marlin is featured as an inset in conjunction with a flowing wave design that meanders from classrooms to corridors. The green and blue ocean waves are tipped with yellow accents. This nautical theme is repeated throughout the corridors. A more detailed and elaborate version of the basic design can be seen in key areas of the auditorium, cafeteria and main entrance. “It’s a very spirited atmosphere and unifies the entire school, “ says Barker.

The design challenge for this project included coordinating the colors of the new floor with the existing finishes and fixtures, including ceramic tile wainscot and metal lockers. “MARMORETTE coordinated with all the school colors, including the old and the new, the reds and yellows, and even with the 60’s-era mint green ceramic tile,” says Barker. MARMORETTE has the most extensive and versatile color choices within the Armstrong linoleum portfolio.

Waterjet Works! of Dallas, TX, cut the Marlin and wave portions of the installation upon receipt of computer aided design drawings (CADD) sent to them by RRMM. Waterjet Works! analyzed the drawings and made recommendations where necessary to accommodate the size and scale of the insets while still holding true to the design requirements. The precision-cut custom insets were shipped to the contractor in Virginia Beach for installation, with instructions for placement in field areas. The contractor cut and installed the field areas on-site, up to the perimeter of the insets, and then installed the custom sections. The final installation step was heat welding the custom insets and field seams using Armstrong’s selection of color-integrated linoleum weld rods, which offered design detail as well as functional benefits. The finished seams create an essentially monolithic floor surface with no place for debris or moisture to enter.

Although not fishing for compliments, the Virginia Beach Public School System is proud of the fluid, imaginative design. Dale Rison, senior construction inspector for the Virginia Beach Public Schools, says, “Armstrong linoleum delivered on the designer’s idea and is much quieter than the floor we had before.” Barker adds, “This was an exciting experience for me. The design is unique to the school and gets away from the washedout- white color scheme that was used before. The linoleum colors, texture and visuals are visually inspiring.” From specifier to enduser, this experience with MARMORETTE is turning out to be quite a catch!