The Mead School District in Spokane, Washington was new to polished concrete. Early in the design process, the district desired to install polished concrete floors with aspirations to create a floor that was unique.

The design team reached out to Contractor Cameron-Reilly (CR) for assistance with the polished concrete design. The design team and CR visited various CR polished projects around the pacific northwest for visual inspiration; projects ranged from standard aggregate exposure to full terrazzo rock and glass seeded floors. Once the desired look of the floor was agreed on, CR guided the design team with a solid road map of how to write the polished concrete specifications to capture the appropriate tools, materials, contractor experience, and building sequence.

The final polished concrete design included a four color combination of glass. Unique color glass combinations where broken into four main areas: the corridors, art and science rooms, main common/cafeteria areas, and hallways. Early in the construction process, CR worked closely with Garco Construction to sequence the polished floor construction. The first important detail was to sequence the floor pours within the building footprint, holding out the polished floors until later in the construction process. Another important detail was strategically placing the polished concrete construction joints one foot beyond designated wall lines. The schedule allowed for the grind and polish to be complete prior to erection of interior walls. This enabled large polishing equipment to over-grind underneath finished walls, ensuring a consistent look and eliminations/minimization of hand work.

Almost eight tons of colored glass was organized in four color combinations. Great care was taken to balance the color gradations using a small concrete mixer and large plastic holding drums. Each concrete pour was precisely measured and organized to ensure the correct amount of glass was seeded on top of the concrete as it was finished into the surface. Great skill from the concrete finishers was needed to understand the timing of seeding the glass atop the freshly placed concrete.

A Somero laser screed was used to ensure a flat and level surface along with power trowels utilizing steel pans to further cut the concrete smooth and properly seat the glass. A Ra meter was used for the grind and polish process. This newer technology measures real numbers and data to identify the state of the floor and determine the next step to follow. Concrete slurry was managed utilizing a custom made vacuum truck with 300 feet of hose and vacuum wands removing the material right behind the polish machines. The custom truck removes slurry quickly and safely from the site. Skudo MT high quality floor protection was utilized to properly protect the final polished floor.

The planning in design, pre-construction, and attention to detail through the construction process made the project successful. All of the initial goals were met, all of the fine details were achieved. The polished concrete floors were loudly championed as the focal point of the school.