The cafeteria at Bellevue Elementary School in Richmond, Virginia had a huge problem – the large basement space was all brick and concrete parallel surfaces, with little to absorb the chatter of students and clattering of lunch trays. Noise was such an issue that it caused stress for students and staff, and even traveled down hallways disrupting lessons in nearby classrooms. Knowing little about soundproofing a cafeteria, the faculty was at a loss. They tried to mitigate the problem by rotating students through the space so the fewest number of children were eating at a time. When this didn’t work, the PTA pooled their resources to find a solution for their students.
The President of the Bellevue Elementary PTA, Christina Mastroianni, spoke with friends in architecture and interior design who told her she needed more sound dampening or absorbing materials. Christina then posted in a community blog asking if anyone knew where she could get acoustical panels without emptying the PTA’s budget.
Acoustical Solutions responded. Bellevue Elementary is located less than 10 miles away from AS headquarters, so the owner took a visit to look at the space themselves.
“It’s one of the loudest cafeterias we’ve experienced,” says Ingersoll, “and we’ve worked with a lot of them.”
The team at Acoustical Solutions recommended AlphaSorb® Acoustic Panels and PolyPhon™ Polyester Acoustic Panels. The acoustical materials and installation hardware needed to lower noise in the space were delivered. PTA members, community residents, and volunteers from local nonprofit organization HandsOn Greater Richmond came together on Martin Luther King Day to install the treatment. The results are quite noticeable, thrilling the staff that monitors the cafeteria during hectic meals.
“It’s more than we hoped for,” said Mastroianni, “it’s a dream come true!”