University of Washington Chooses Scranton Products’ High Privacy Aria Partitions® for New Residence Hall Restrooms
First established in downtown Seattle and now spanning more than 700 acres, the University of Washington was named the world’s most innovative university by Reuters in 2019. The school boasts seven Nobel Laureate faculty members and is home to the pioneering College of Built Designs, Michael G. Foster Business School and the College of Arts and Sciences offering 71 cutting-edge liberal arts programs.
To enhance the learning experience, UW has continued to expand its numerous amenities, including one of the largest library systems in the world, a broad complex of lecture halls, art centers, museums, laboratories, stadiums and conference centers sprawled across three separate campuses.
As part of UW’s commitment to an all-inclusive atmosphere, Phase One of a two-phase, $380 million development project added three dormitories totaling 2,800 beds to the main Seattle campus at the beginning of the 2018 school year. Madrona Hall included a learning resource center for casual study, a student-managed ice cream shop and a brick-based, western red cedar siding exterior to provide a visual link to the surrounding forests and woods. Another key feature of the 220-bed, seven-story LEED building was the design of the new community bathrooms situated on one of the wings on each floor.
After a lengthy review process, the University of Washington selected Scranton Products’ new line of Aria Partitions® for their ability to meet Madrona Hall’s restroom and shower privacy needs. This was achieved with an enclosed, floor-to-ceiling stall design that combines striking aesthetics and low-maintenance, easy-to-clean features to ensure privacy and comfort.
“We selected this product through a competitive process that prioritized our needs for affordability and durability, as well as privacy needs of our students,” said JR Fulton, Manager for Capital Projects and Sustainability for Housing & Food Services (HFS) at the University of Washington.
Built to accommodate the needs of Madrona Hall’s 50–60 male, female and transgender students, the restrooms consist of three to four toilets and showers in a neutral environment that, according to Fulton, meets the privacy needs of students.
Fulton added, “The Aria Partitions, made of HDPE, remain graffiti and scratch-free, and have been cleanable with the machine spray application of cleaner and dry down with a vacuum.”
“We informed the contractor about the Aria Partitions,” said Nick Rogers, Vice President, Barclay Dean Architectural Products in Bothell, WA, the supplier of the partitions. The installer and facilities team were pleased to learn that a stylish and affordable ‘off the shelf’ partition solution already existed. He was concerned about incurring the added time and expense of ordering custom-designed, non-gender specific restroom partitions for the hall, but Aria fit the bill.”
Scranton Products achieves its sleek design through the use of continuous edge-mounted hinges that remove sightlines, elimination of face-mounted hardware and a shoeless pilaster, which makes it easier to clean and maintain. In addition, each system is available with 17 innovative door designs, 7 panel designs and 27 rich colors and textures to accommodate nearly any style or décor.
Priding itself on an atmosphere of diversity and inclusion, UW has strived to make the campus a welcoming, safe-space with the provision of a gender-neutral culture supporting LGBTQIA+, gender expression, transgender and ally students. Kate Flowers, HFS’s Assistant Director of Custodial Services, explains, “Our goal is to make every student who chooses to live in our residence halls feel safe, comfortable and part of an inclusive environment that respects and supports all students.”
In all, 71 gray Aria partitions were used in the restrooms at Madrona Hall with excellent results. According to Fulton, “They were delivered on time and within budget, provided the privacy we required, and have not needed any repairs since installation.”