St. Joseph's Central High Renovation Nets National Craftsmanship Award for Desco Coatings

Top Quote The original craftsmanship and colors of 82-year-old stairways were recreated when a school was brought into compliance with the ADA. Desco Coatings of Olathe, Kan., the terrazzo contractor, was awarded by the national trade association for their success on this unusual and challenging job. End Quote
  • Kansas City, MO-KS (1888PressRelease) June 19, 2012 - Who:  Desco Coatings of Olathe, Kan., contractor for terrazzo floor installations, is recognized by National Terrazzo & Mosaic Association (NTMA) for Central High School stairway project 
    What: 2012 Honor Award Winner, Special Category: Craftsmanship
    When:  Announced May 9, 2012 
    Where: NTMA's 89th annual national convention in Miami
    Why: Quality and intricacy of craftsmanship 

    When a stairway was removed in Central High School to make way for an elevator to bring the building into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Desco Coatings craftsmen were handed the challenge of recreating a new stairway to match the 82-year-old existing stairways. 

    NTMA honored Desco for its success on the unusual and demanding project with a special craftsmanship award, the only one in the category, at its annual convention May 9.  

    Desco duplicated the original colors-which had come from a now-defunct stone quarry-and the master craftsmanship of the original steps and balustrades. The steps have rounded corners with a continuous balustrade, three stories tall with a rounded cap to form a continuous spiral from floor to floor. 

    Desco craftsmen developed a special two-handled, flexible trowel to form the continuous spiral.  

    The new stairway is indistinguishable from the originals, according to comments from school personnel. 

    In past years, Desco has won NTMA Honor Awards for terrazzo in Kansas City International Airport, Children's Mercy Hospital, St. Joseph Public Library,  Hilton President Hotel Kansas City and Kansas City Municipal Auditorium.

    About Terrazzo: 
    Terrazzo flooring techniques originated in 15th-century Italy, a direct descendant of the mosaic artistry of ancient Rome. One of the world's original "green" building systems, terrazzo evolved from the resourcefulness of Venetian marble workers as they discovered a creative reuse of discarded stone chips. Terrazzo techniques were introduced to the US in the 1880s by Italian craftsmen. In keeping with its original premise of efficiency, terrazzo is still manufactured on the construction site. Marble, stone or glass aggregates, which can often be found locally, are embedded in an epoxy or cement base and polished. Terrazzo combines design flexibility with ease of maintenance and durability to last the life of the building.

    NTMA is a 152-member, full service nonprofit trade association headquartered in Fredericksburg, Texas. Founded in 1923, NTMA establishes national standards for terrazzo floor and wall systems. 

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