This year, Georgia students and faculty at seven schools returned to dynamic media centers, music rooms, workspaces and other inspired education interiors with a new look and new energy thanks to Mohawk Industries and Georgia United Foundation’s School Crashers program. Since the first “crashes” six years ago, Mohawk Industries’ commercial division, Mohawk Group, and the Foundation, part of Georgia United Credit Union, have worked together to renovate and refresh select public schools and foster much-needed renovations.
Each spring, hundreds of schools across the state apply for facility makeovers, sharing a list of specific needs and why their campus would benefit from the program. From these nominations, the Foundation chooses the lucky winners. The school makeover program is designed to unite communities to complete and support local improvement projects for deserving schools. One grand prize winner receives a school makeover funded by the Foundation; runner-up schools receive grants for specific projects.
“We are excited to provide campus improvements to 10 schools in total this year, which will positively impact thousands of students. Over the last six years, donors, volunteers and communities have assisted us in providing more than $1 million in school improvements to 33 schools, and we are appreciative of our donor partners like Mohawk for their generous support, ” said Debbie Smith, Georgia United Credit Union’s president and CEO.
This year’s grand prize winner was Toney Elementary School in Decatur, Georgia, which received a donation of Living Product commercial carpet planks from Mohawk Group’s Nutopia and Lichen collections for installation in the media center, faculty lounge and principal’s office.
Toney Elementary, which dates back to 1952, has 350 students and 43 faculty and staff members—all of whom returned to school this month to find a variety of rehabilitated indoor and outdoor areas. With the help of more than 150 volunteers, the school received a new outdoor classroom, a STEM garden with native vegetation, parking lot enhancements, new landscaping and custom murals. In addition to the new Mohawk Group carpeting inside the school, the facility upgrade also included an updated computer lab, fresh paint, new furniture and a mural of the school mascot, a tiger, to greet guests at the main entrance.
As the official flooring partner in this year’s School Crashers program, Mohawk also provided grants in the form of commercial carpet tile and adhesive donations for a combination of media centers and music rooms in six other Georgia schools: Beaverdale Elementary, Dalton; Cohutta Elementary, Cohutta; Briar Vista Elementary, Atlanta; East Laurens Elementary, Dublin; Stone Mountain Elementary, Stone Mountain; and Cousins Middle, Covington. All renovations were completed just in time for the beginning of the 2019–20 school year.
“We know that a student’s environment plays an important role in their school experience. That’s why we felt it was important to participate again in this year’s program to improve and enhance these learning spaces for both students and faculty,” said David Dembowitz, senior vice president of education and government for Mohawk Group. “School Crashers creates a meaningful opportunity and perfect partnership for Mohawk to serve the communities where we live, work and play, while also using our expertise and understanding of the specific needs of education interiors.”