A brand new, state-of-the-art performing arts facility was planned for the Regis Jesuit High School campus in Aurora, Colorado. The campus and school, known for its community, wanted a new building that acknowledged their culture as well as worked with the existing architecture. The architect, Larson Incitti, understood these dynamics and designed a contemporary yet classic structure for the new Performing Arts Center and Student Commons Building. The overall building, which embraced community and student interaction, encompassed high design yet natural elements with a natural flow of student movement and interaction through wide corridors and gathering spaces . Regis High School worked with Larson Incitti to choose the finishes for their new Performing Arts Center. The owner desired a low maintenance yet natural looking floor for the main lobby and corridor. They also desired a finish that could withstand daily foot traffic and have a low lifecycle cost.
The design team, owners, and maintenance staff came to Colorado Hardscapes’ Design Center one day to determine the best floor for their new performing arts and student commons building at Regis Jesuit High School. They knew they wanted concrete, but were not sure about the maintenance nor the final aesthetic possibilities. After perusing an assortment of integral color, overlays, stains and dye options, they saw a picture of a project Colorado Hardscapes previously completed at the Colorado Mountain College in Breckenridge, Colorado, and decided it was exactly what they wanted. The chosen floor finish was a polished and stained concrete floor, while leaving some accent areas uncolored. The finish gave a natural yet upgraded appeal. Using Bomanite reactive stains, the slight variation in the colors helped give the organic tones the design team wanted. By leaving some areas un-stained, it helped save on overall cost as well as create a third color to the palette. Colorado Hardscapes stained the bands Bomanite Ebony and the colored fields Bomanite Auburn. By using decorative scoring, the design added some aesthetics while creating separations for the different colors. The joints were caulked to add to the ease of cleaning and maintenance.
Before any construction occurred, Colorado Hardscapes met with the general contractor for a pre-construction meeting to go over sequencing, staging, floor placement, Colorado Hardscapes’ process and protection. By communicating early on, expectations and needs from each party were established and planned for. The concrete contractor who placed the floor understood what Colorado Hardscapes needed in the finished floor in order to achieve the specified finish.
Basing decisions off of small samples and photographs for stained concrete floors can only get the team so far, so Colorado Hardscapes recommended and installed a mock-up section on-site for pre-approval of the floor prior to the official installation. The mock-up went in a room that would later receive carpeting, but was adjacent to the work during the polishing and staining process for reference. Because of the reactive nature of the stains, the team wanted to ensure the reaction of the stains to the concrete slab placed in the building still gave them the aesthetics they desired, the mock-up was an important step. Reactive stains, because they create a chemical reaction with the concrete itself, need to be neutralized before continuing the process. This is an important step that may add time to a topically colored floor that needs to be accounted for early on. Dyes don’t typically need to be neutralized, but reactive stains do.
The polishing process opened up the floor through grinding with a series of diamond grinding pads from Rocket Supply. Within the process, Bomanite hardener, densifier and VitraFinish were applied along with the stain. The finished product resulted in a highly reflective and abrasion resistant floor.
The floors that received the polished and stained finishes were the lower level student commons and the stairs going up to the performing arts center. The tones of the stains coordinated well with the overall design. Using the natural palette of Bomanite stains, the floor gives a warm and Colorado feel to the design of the building. The Bomanite polishing process provides for a low maintenance floor with a low lifecycle cost and durability to withstand the daily student foot traffic. By communication early on and throughout the entire process, the stained and polished floors met the expectations of the owner, general contractor, architect and the polishing contractor.