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Exclusive, traditional, time-honored… These are just a few words commonly used to describe Baylor School of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Established in 1893, Baylor is a private, co-educational preparatory school for grades 6 through 12, with both day and boarding school options. With a long-standing reputation of excellence, the institution has thrived in its mission to nurture students to be people who make positive differences in the world.

Those in leadership at Baylor are keenly aware of all the details involved in promoting quality of student life and enhancing learning—including the state of the school’s physical environments. It’s imperative that spaces be continuously updated in order to attract and retain students and provide an atmosphere that’s comfortable and conducive to camaraderie and education. To that end, officials with the school recently pursued a large scale renovation of Guerry Dining Hall. Guerry, built in 1931, is home to the campus’ main dining facilities and hosts more than 1,200 students and faculty daily for meals. The goals for the Guerry Dining Hall renovation were to improve traffic flow, maximize seating, and provide a more inviting on-campus living environment for students, faculty, and their families. From an updated serving area with multiple cooking stations to new seating configurations for a variety of events, the design had to not only accomplish many goals for modern-day student life but also compliment the classic architectural style of the campus.

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Criteria for the hall’s flooring selections focused on function and style. The floors needed to be extremely durable in order to withstand constant heavy traffic, and they had to offer the right, upscale look befitting the building’s overall design aesthetic. Lead interior designer on this renovation project, Sara Webb of Franklin Architects, ultimately determined that Crossville’s SpeakEasy collection made the grade for the main dining hall specification. Offering the look and feel of American hardwood, SpeakEasy captures the historical and traditional sensibility while providing the superior functionality of porcelain tile that the environment requires. Manufactured in the U.S., SpeakEasy contains a 4% pre-consumer recycled content and is Green Squared certified through the Tile Council of North America for its proven standards of sustainability.

In addition to the SpeakEasy specification, Crossville’s Retroactive and Shades collections were also incorporated into the flooring design to help create visually distinguishable spaces that guide and ease of traffic flow. As students may now move more easily in the dining hall to access the many updates and features of the space, students report increased satisfaction, and more of them are choosing to eat on campus.

Crossville’s Color By Numbers collection also made the grade for as the surfacing of choice on the interior restroom walls. These colorful tiles were specified with the addition of Crossville’s proprietary Cross-Sheen finish to ensure easy maintenance and cleaning for the long term. Additionally, the Argent line brings a colorful, modern touch to the floors in these busy spaces.

Crossville tile works in harmony with other design elements to create a positive place for Baylor students to gather, learn, and grow.