An exploration of Hampton Road Academy's 2019 renovations of their lower school building and dining hall.
School colors are not the only spirit-boosting element at Hampton Roads Academy in Newport News, Va. This private educational institution renovated its Lower School building and dining hall in Fall 2019 with bold injections of color that connect students to the unique learning activities in each space, and fortify a sense of identification and ownership. Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) flooring from Patcraft provided the exact colors to infuse the design with the energy to match this vibrant institution.
Intricate flooring patterns were designed to emphasize the nautical history of this coastal Virginia community, including ship’s wheel-shaped radius images, and sleek diamonds in the school’s signature navy and gold hues. The Patcraft LVT and carpet was installed by Lockwood’s Carpets of nearby Gloucester, Va.
“They wanted lots of color, so we met the headmaster and showed some samples of what could be done,” says the company’s co-owner Lee Lockwood, whose son, Paris, is a first grader at Hampton Roads. Lockwood sent a detailed rendering of the flooring designs to be precisely cut with a water jet to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. “They sent us a key to follow and each flooring item was numbered. Every piece had to be placed in order or it wouldn’t fit.”
Lee and his father, Jim Lockwood, and their installation team completed the complex installation over a four-week period in late 2019. Patcraft Account Manager Allison Copley worked closely with the Lockwoods team to ensure every product was the right color and texture, and products were ordered through local contractor WM Jordan Company.
“They gave Lee a blueprint with a starting point, and then we had to dry-lay every section to be sure everything fit perfectly. There were several thousand pieces in just one big, oval room,” says Jim Lockwood. Once all the LVT was placed, the installers filled the expansion joints and then finished with a commercial grinder for a very smooth, polished look.
The 110-foot-long dining hall floor includes 12 different colors, including three different shades of blue to reflect local waterways. Shapes like diamonds, radiuses and waves energize each space with color. Each classroom has its own signature color so students who learn there feel connected to “their” space. Corridors include the school’s colors, navy and gold, in geometric diamond shapes. Natural light sources, including multiple skylights, accentuate the color schemes in each classroom or common space.
“Throughout the school, they wanted to emulate a wave design. The waves and radiuses remind you of the river, the Atlantic Ocean and our beaches. It ties in with the community and the school’s branding,” says Lee Lockwood. “It also increases student productivity.”
Paris Lockwood and his classmates love their colorful new school. They feel a sense of connection and pride, and they enjoy the process of learning so much more now. The school recently held a multicultural event with foods from around the world, hosting 600 students and parents in the bright, colorful space.
“The colors in the rooms really create a sense of excitement for all the students,” says Lee Lockwood. “Everyone there told me how much they loved the new flooring.”