(Dayton, NJ – April 2017) Water damage to the flooring of several classrooms at The Fort Lee Elementary School, in Fort Lee, New Jersey School District had left education officials with a number of critical issues to address before students could return to classes. First, the removal and replacement of the flooring had to be accomplished with little or no disruption to class schedules. Second, the project had to comply with New Jersey sustainability mandates. Finally, the flooring installation needed to provide students with a learning environment that was as durable as it was healthy.
To overcome these challenges, they selected The Gillespie Group, a leading NJ-based commercial flooring provider to eliminate the problem and provide a long-term flooring solution that would establish and maintain a healthy learning environment for young students. Recipient of the project award through the ESCNJ Co-Op, The Gillespie Group was a natural choice, as the company had previously worked on flooring projects for other schools in the town.
Grounds Director for the Fort Lee School District, Scott Bendul commented, “We’ve had considerable experience partnering with The Gillespie Group on four previous projects throughout the district. Their work and reputation are of the highest levels.”
The project timeline was dictated according to the length of the Christmas recess at the end of the calendar year. The Gillespie Group created a plan according to the timeline and set about removing and replacing the water-damaged flooring as soon as school let out for the Holiday.
The Company recommended the installation of Forbo MCT tiles for a variety of important reasons. The previous flooring required considerably more maintenance and had to be stripped and waxed several times per year. In stark contrast, the 13” x 13” squares of linoleum are made of recycled material and require no waxing or buffing, so maintenance is virtually eliminated. The flooring also met all environmental regulations stipulated by the state of New Jersey. Eco-friendly and highly durable, the 2.0mm natural linoleum tiles are constructed of USDA Certified 100% bio-based content, feature a Topshield 2 occupancy-ready factory finish, and have a 30-year system service life.
In addition to its sustainable qualities, Forbo MCT was a wise choice for its self-sanitizing capabilities, which inhibits the growth of bacteria that may create conditions favorable to the development of staph infections or the transmission of communicable diseases. John Gillespie, VP of Operations for The Gillespie Group, stated, “While the initial price of the new tile may have been slightly more than the flooring it replaced, the lower maintenance costs, durability and the significant health advantages it offers make it a smart choice and far more cost efficient over the life of the product.”
Gillespie also acknowledges that his installation team’s ability to complete the project according to the short schedule is due in no small part to the company’s extensive experience and success installing Forbo products. The Gillespie Group has been a Forbo flooring installer for many years and completed numerous installations throughout the tristate region.
Managing the accelerated schedule posed initial concerns because of the age of the school building and the condition of the classroom floors. However, The Gillespie Group’s experienced team of installers achieved perfectly level floors through an applied skim coating process. From that point forward, the work proceeded smoothly to a finish without any further issues. Classrooms were ready for the students upon their return to school.
“The Fort Lee school administrators were very pleased with the Forbo MCT tiles and the entire finished project,” Gillespie concluded. As a result of the successful outcome, The Gillespie Group was subsequently awarded an extensive renovation project of the town’s School Number #1 by school officials to remove and replace floors and sub-floors damaged by leaking air conditioning units. The project was completed using Forbo flooring products during summer recess.