Architect: Rodney L Sartain Architects
Starnet Member: Bonitz Flooring Group, Inc.
Starnet Preferred Vendors: ARDEX, J+J Flooring, Johnsonite By Tarkett
Cherokee Phoenix Cinemas Renovations – Design Strategy
Just 50 miles from Asheville, NC is Cherokee, situated at the main entrance to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. It is home to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation is one of only three federally recognized Cherokee tribes. Today, about 9,000 members of the Eastern Band dwell on 57,000 acres in the North Carolina mountains known as the Qualla Boundary.
Bonitz has been doing business in the Carolinas since 1954 and in recent years has been successfully developing business with Owle Construction, a Native American, woman-owned business located on the Cherokee Indian Reservation for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
Because communities in general are important to evolve and progress with the times, it became necessary to upgrade and renovate the local cinema that serves the citizens of Cherokee and its visitors. The Tribal Council awarded funds that were to be distributed accordingly with new cosmetic upgrades, technology, reclining seating, as well as added food and entertainment options. The movie experience today has progressed to a point that renovations were essential, or the theatre would simply “go away”.
The original architectural plans called for vinyl composition tile with the notion of being economical and easy to clean. After the award of the project, the site inspections and routine evaluation of existing conditions, including moisture testing revealed extremely high moisture readings. Working with the General Contractor and architect of record, we recommended addressing the moisture levels with a product offering 100% RH tolerance and ph levels of 11 while providing the best attributes of soft surface and hard surface flooring. This patented revolutionary product is a hybrid alternative to carpet and resilient flooring.
Kinetex, by J+J Flooring, piqued everyone’s interest. Even though the initial product investment was three times the cost of the original specification, significant savings were realized on the side of moisture remediation. Its non-slip, unprecedented range of performance attributes, human-centered qualities, and functional design offerings offset the long-term maintenance cost of VCT. Not to mention Kinetex offers multiple pattern options, and the architect was able to play into the design direction reinforcing an organic, rustic aesthetic with a pattern that simulates a wood grain, called Timber.
Additional safety challenges presented themselves with multiple steps in each theater. Another Starnet vendor partner, Johnsonite-Tarkett provided the best combination of rubber stair nosings with glow-in-the-dark visual strips that were essential in transitioning to the Kinetex modular plank tiles for a clean and seamless installation.
What makes Bonitz proud of this application and the result is the winning combination of all the relationships involved in this project: the General Contractor, two Starnet Vendor partners, the Architect, and the end user. The confident consultation during an in-flight construction project consisted of making product recommendations with proven performance history, while being mindful of the overall project budget, producing an exemplary finished product for everyone in the Cherokee Community to take pride in and enjoy.
We were able to contribute to what was initially the tribe’s goal in improving the customer experience so that the community can continue to thrive and support other adjacent businesses in the big picture. The contractor, who also resides in the area, ultimately sees Bonitz as that value add in performing work in an often-unpredictable profession of construction. We were able to problem solve efficiently, maintain costs, keep schedules running on time, and directly affect the overall use of a space that will be enjoyed for years to come! Lights! ACTION!