At Cardinal Acoustics, we recognize how much our success depends on positive and productive relationships with business partners. Our recent collaboration with L&W Supply and Just Rite Acoustics—two of the best in their respective industries—met East Maine First Steps Preschool’s unique need for beautiful and functional sound control.
We worked closely with Sandra Chavez from L&W Supply Roselle, a leading building materials distributor based in Chicago. Chavez talked about L&W Supply’s work and why they partnered with us on this project and others. “L&W Supply places great value on following through and communicating with our clients, who include general contractors to subs in both commercial and residential construction,” Chavez said. “Our clients like to know that we exhaust every option, and in the rare event that there is a product we’re not able to secure, we’re always prepared to offer another way forward and a resolution.”
Cardinal Acoustics’ responsiveness and dedication to customer service establishes us as an ideal partner for L&W Supply. “Cardinal Acoustics is extremely easy to work with,” Chavez said. “Their follow up is quick, and they are very much on top of their game. Doing business with them is easy.”
Just Rite Acoustics, near Chicago, offers various acoustical products, specialty ceilings, access flooring, and window shades. Project manager Don Nebraske knew about our reputation for customer service and reached out to us about the East Maine First Steps Preschool project. Quick turnarounds are also Just Rite’s specialty. Because ceiling finishes tend to be near the end of a construction or renovation project, any timeline lags that occur earlier in the process tend to leave Just Rite Acoustics with an abbreviated time frame. “We just focus on the ceiling, which makes what we do very efficient,” Nebraske said. This quickness gives them relative stealth. “I’ve had customers say, ‘What we love best about working with your company is that we don’t even know you’re there.’”
East Maine First Steps Preschool in Des Plaines, Illinois, serves children three to five years old and prepares them for kindergarten. They offer free classes for at-risk children, special education classes, and classrooms for neurotypical children. Young children can be a noisy bunch, and because First Steps Preschool’s instruction is play-based, a constant buzz of activity is the goal.
There are larger areas in the school with high exposed ceilings, which made for an environment rife with sound reverberation. East Maine First Steps Preschool’s design influenced them to choose wood fiber acoustical tile products. “The addition they put on the school has a very industrial feel and look,” Nebraske said. “So that’s where Cardinal Acoustics’ product is key, as it really helps absorb the sound.”
Aesthetics were also a concern. First Steps Preschool utilized four Cardinal Acoustics products and included whimsical colors and shapes appropriate for a preschool. “They created green and blue circular clouds in custom colors to match the school’s design theme,” Chavez recalled. These acoustical clouds create a cheery, upbeat look in the classrooms.
Sound-absorbing and aesthetically pleasing, the acoustical ceiling clouds also delineate distinct spaces within large rooms, such as a library area and learning hubs.
Wood fiber products, including the acoustical clouds, moderated East Maine First Steps Preschool’s sound levels and transformed the space from industrial and echoey, to warm and engaging. “We rely on the manufacturer to get us the submittals, and when there are custom colors involved, that can add a lot of time,” Nebraske recalled. “Cardinal Acoustics got the custom product to us very quickly, so quickly it was as if the selection was included in their standard colors.”
“Cardinal Acoustics provided attachment drawings so the architect could see how the attachment process works and how the finished product would look. This was very helpful,” Nebraske said.
When contractors collaborate with a client, clear and precise communication is critical to success, and we pride ourselves on maintaining that standard. It’s excellent to see our acoustical panels and acoustical clouds contribute to the form and functionality of places like East Maine First Steps Preschool. Transforming an industrial space into a bright and engaging space for or children and educators is something we’re proud to have accomplished successfully.
Contact us to learn about how acoustical tiles can manage sound and define and beautify spaces.