Groundbreaking for the Science Center took place in June 2012, and since this was a new construction project, Mede and her team had the opportunity to specify all building materials from the ground up.
“Since this was a Science Center, our goal was to create a learning environment that was clean and modern looking,” Mede said. “The plan was to have natural stone, concrete, and steel/chrome accents throughout the structure as well as an atrium in the center.”
Selection of the bathroom partitions for the new Science Center was easy; Mede knew exactly what had worked in other buildings. “We’ve done several renovations here on the campus, and for the bathroom partitions, we had started to move away from traditional metal to HDPE, a material that is much more durable and easier to maintain,” said Mede, who oversees the repairs and maintenance of all buildings on campus.
“The metal partitions had rust problems and required a lot of maintenance. Hinges needed to be replaced frequently and the partitions peeled, so they often required repainting.”
Powerful Partitions That Last
Mede and the facilities team chose Scranton Products’ Hiny Hiders solid bathroom partitions because they found them to be a durable product that would also alleviate many of the maintenance and cleanliness issues associated with metal partitions. Constructed from premium HDPE, Hiny Hiders also offer a sustainable solution for restroom stall partitions.
Mede presented the Science Building Committee with the suggestion of the continued use of Hiny Hiders and they concurred, choosing the Metallic Collection’s Stainless Color with EX texture. The texture has a pattern of raised dots with a ridged texture. And even though they are manufactured of solid plastic, the partitions featured a bold, metallic look without the high cost of stainless steel.
Seven partitions were installed in the Science Center, three in the men’s bathroom and four in the women’s bathroom.
“The key to this project was finding an alternative to expensive stainless steel restroom partitions,” Mede said. “The color and texture we chose was perfect for the contemporary design of the new Science Center. The partitions look just like stainless steel. Their sleek, modern clean lines are exactly the look we were going for.”
Easy to Clean Bathroom Partitions
Cleaning can be a problem with wood or metal partitions, plus they can harbor bacteria and are prone to graffiti. That’s why HDPE designed to look like metallic or wood finishes is becoming so popular among both aesthetic-minded designers and maintenance managers who oversee cleaning staffs.
From a cleanliness point of view, Hiny Hiders provide the academy with another substantial benefit: HDPE’s non-porous surface naturally resists bacteria, odors, mold, and mildew.
From drinking fountains to water faucets to computer keyboards, schools today are a hotbed of germs, and avoiding them is nearly impossible. HDPE won’t retain germs, and the surface is easy to clean. Graffiti also wipes off easily with most non-abrasive cleaners, and the partitions can be power washed and steam cleaned without the worry of rust or delaminating.
Today, according to Mede, the partitions have proven to be low maintenance. “We’ve had virtually no maintenance issues in any of the restroom stalls, and they look as good today as when we first installed them. We simply wash them down from time to time, and they look virtually brand new.”
Mede adds, “For anyone who is currently specifying a project or a job that requires bathroom partitions, I would tell them to consider using Hiny Hiders. They are durable, they are sustainable, and they’re going to last.”
History of Lake Forest Academy
Lake Forest Academy in Lake Forest, IL, is rich in history and tradition, and it’s one of the most renowned and prestigious independent co-ed boarding schools in the country. Established in 1857 as a boys’ preparatory department of the former Lind University, the academy has undergone many changes throughout the years, the most significant being the addition of the girls’ preparatory department in 1869.
There were a few name changes along the way as well, and eventually, in 1988, the school became Lake Forest Academy. There are currently 425 students in grades nine through 12. The academy also provides a wide selection of summer programs each year.
As Lake Forest Academy and its student population grew, so did the need for new dormitories and other buildings. Beginning in the 1950s, the academy expanded its campus by adding more than 10 common areas, dormitories, sporting facilities, and more. The Science Center, the newest addition to the 435,000-square-foot campus, was completed in August 2013.