Educational facilities, ranging from elementary schools to colleges and from universities to training academies, are ideal environments for polished concrete. This is because school districts, like all levels of government, must do more with less.
So educators are repairing and renovating existing buildings in greater numbers. Polished concrete’s lower costs and maintenance fill the bill. It also is becoming the floor surface of choice when new buildings are being constructed.
With 25,000 square feet of polished concrete in its classrooms, break rooms, nurse’s office, hallways, stage, and cafeteria, the new Woodland Elementary School in Alexandria, Minn., is an example of this trend. The school district and architect chose polished concrete because of its durability and easy maintenance. This was the first time the school district chose polished concrete, so the contractor, Polished Concrete Images Inc., Sauk Rapids, Minn., turned the tables and gave school officials their own education. To help everyone understand the process, the contractor installed an onsite test area to show several color options. After this area was complete, the school board, architect, and job supervisor met to discuss the project, and had all of their questions answered.
The polishing crew arrived one week after concrete was placed. Before the interior walls were built, the crew performed an initial grind with 80-grit metal-bonded tools to make edgework easier. After a densifier was applied, workers ground the concrete with 800- and 1500-resin bonded tools, followed by a stain guard for protection.
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