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Renovation Revelation: Church’s Terrazzo Transformation Wins National Award

Wisconsin Terrazzo Company was recognized for the renovation of the historic church.

This award recognizes a beautiful installation and Wisconsin Terrazzo’s skill, artistry, and commitment to excellence in terrazzo.”

— Chad Rakow, Executive Director, National Terrazo & Mosaic Association

SLEEPY EYE, MINNESOTA, USA, May 9, 2024 /EINPresswire.com/ — When St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, underwent a renovation project to replace the floor and restore the stained-glass windows, it was the beginning of a series of phases of construction aimed at restoring the 1902 church. Replacing deteriorated wood floors with terrazzo provided the congregation not only with an easily maintained floor that will last 100 years but also offered them the opportunity to customize the floor to honor the church’s history and recapture its original beauty.

The National Terrazzo & Mosaic Association (NTMA) presented Wisconsin Terrazzo of Onalaska, Wisconsin, the terrazzo contractor on the project, with a 2024 Honor Award for the installation, recognizing their skilled craftsmanship, artistry, and dedication to excellence. The award ceremony was held in Tucson at the association’s annual convention on April 17.

The last time the red-brick Gothic-style church underwent redecoration was in 1976, commemorating the parish’s centenary year. Removing a tile floor from the sanctuary in 2000 exposed a yellow pine floor, which had served since then. Unfortunately, years of heavy foot traffic, compounded by harsh Minnesota weather, had taken its toll on the wood floor, rendering it impossible to refinish. After extensive discussions, research, and consultations, the church leadership team decided to replace the wood flooring with terrazzo.

The terrazzo contractor collaborated with the church leadership to adjust the color palette and translated Conrad Schmitt Studio’s rendering to reproduce the designs in the terrazzo. To expedite the terrazzo installation, the contractor used a template to lay the brass divider strips in a repeating pattern. The strips for the central Bottoni crosses in the main aisle pattern were waterjet cut, while all other lines were hand-laid. The seven epoxy colors were mixed with marble aggregate chips and poured in place.

Drawing inspiration from historical documentation, photos, and elements found upon removing old finishes, the new interior design is a stunning tribute to the church’s history and original decor while significantly transforming the sanctuary to establish a radiant, worshipful environment.

The NTMA’s annual Honor Award program recognizes outstanding terrazzo projects its members submit. It promotes member contractors as the sole qualified resource for terrazzo installations that meet industry standards. Terrazzo veterans and design professionals evaluate the submitted entries.

The NTMA is a full-service nonprofit trade association headquartered in Fredericksburg, Texas. Founded in 1923, the NTMA establishes national standards for terrazzo systems for floor and vertical applications. Its mission is to promote quality craftsmanship and creativity in terrazzo while supporting its 152 members in their trade and service to the construction industry.

The NTMA provides free services to architects, interior designers, artists, general contractors, maintenance professionals, and property owners. From helping the design community write specifications to providing technical assistance, the NTMA’s goal is to help ensure quality terrazzo installations.

Terrazzo is a composite material originating in 15th-century Italy, descending from the mosaic artistry of Ancient Rome. It evolved as a sustainable building system as resourceful Venetian marble workers discovered a creative way to reuse discarded stone chips. Terrazzo artisans still pour terrazzo by hand on the construction site, with options for precast and waterjet-cut elements. Stone, recycled glass, or other aggregates, often sourced locally, are embedded in a cement or epoxy base and polished to reveal the chips. Terrazzo combines design flexibility with ease of maintenance and durability to last the life of the building.

Jason Zarwell
Wisconsin Terrazzo
+1 608-779-5010
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National Terrazzo & Mosaic Association 2024 Honor Awards: Wisconsin Terrazzo, St. Mary’s Catholic Church