A Detroit-area school gets the works with abuse-resistant ceiling panels.

Acoustical ceiling tiles, designed to exceed all the expectations for performance associated with installation and maintenance in a school building environment, were installed in the gymnasium of Pierce Elementary School.

Jon Steenland knows what it takes to keep the 15 buildings in the Roseville Community School District running at peak performance.

A Roseville, Mich., native who is now the district's director of buildings and grounds, Steenland has worked in either facilities or transportation there for more than 20 years, starting at custodian and moving to his current position, one he's now held for two years. "With 6,000 students and 15 buildings within a 14-square mile district, we weigh our purchasing decisions very carefully," he says.

A kindergarten room at Huron Park Elementary School was one of the classrooms in which a panel with a 100-percent-non-directional embossed fissured pattern designed for premium aesthetics and acoustical performance was installed.

Multiple choice

One of the recent decisions was that of selecting ceiling products for classrooms, hallways and specialized areas, including gymnasiums, in the district's 13 schools. Renovation was made possible through a $30 million bond issue.

"Specifications called for products from a manufacturer other than BPB Celotex because the Roseville Schools had used those products previously," says Kim Laenen, president, Acoustical Distributors Inc., a Detroit-area firm. "Linda Vendt, BPB Celotex architectural systems manager, and I believed we had a number of good reasons for them to consider a change."

Among those reasons were comparability of light reflectance and sound absorbency, as well as the clean bright white appearance and high performance. "I had two more reasons as well," says Laenen. "After being in this business for 18 years, I believe the BPB Celotex product sags less than others. I also like the fact it's manufactured right here in Michigan."

Armed with samples, specifications and testing results, Laenen and Vendt contacted the project architect, Fareed Mojaradi, to discuss the BPB Celotex products and their suitability as substitutions in the specifications. He agreed the products matched or exceeded what had been originally specified and suggested they meet directly with the construction manager and Steenland for a final decision.