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Unlimited Flexibility on a Limited Budget

Hickory Grove Christian School in Charlotte, North Carolina, came to Sheldon Laboratory Systems with two big challenges – design one science lab that could efficiently accommodate students from kindergarten through the eighth grade, and do it all on a limited budget.

“We needed an area that would take our children beyond a classroom setting and allow them to conduct hands-on experiments,” said Rhonda Brown, the school’s principal. “Because our funds were limited, we also needed a design that would let us purchase and add furniture and equipment as we went along rather than a design that required us to put everything in place at once.”

The Sheldon team began by touring two former classrooms that Hickory Grove proposed transforming into a modern science lab.

Sheldon then recommended tables, chairs, and equipment that would be flexible enough to accommodate students of different ages and sizes.

Hickory Grove’s new VS America chairs, for example, adjust to various heights, allowing students from the smallest kindergartener to the tallest middle schooler easy access to the tables.

The equipment also operates quietly; chairs that adjust without squeaking or creaking mean students can move around the experiment areas as needed without distracting others.

Sheldon also found a way to create just the lab Hickory Grove needed within budget.

“Sheldon worked hand-in-hand not only with our teachers and school administration, but also with our maintenance staff,” Brown said. “They developed a plan that allowed our maintenance team to handle a lot of the installation in-house. This resulted in a big cost savings for our school.”

Hickory Grove students and parents have been unanimous in their enthusiasm for the new lab.

Brown said, “The students went home and told their parents all about the experiments they were conducting and how much they enjoyed the lab.”

She continued, “And as an added bonus, we’ve also brought the four-year-olds from our daycare class into the lab. For them to get to do experiments in the ‘big school’ lab instead of their daycare classroom is very exciting for them and gives them a head start in hands-on science.”

Some 650 students from ages four to 14 currently use the lab every other week. And just as school officials had hoped, the flexible design means that Hickory Grove is able to add new equipment as the school’s budget allows.

“Sheldon was a wonderful company to work with,” Brown said. “They meet you where you are, in terms of what you want and how much you have budgeted. You just tell them what you need, and Sheldon Labs works with you to get it done.”

Furniture and equipment provided by Sheldon Labs to Hickory Grove included:

* L-Shaped Instructor’s Desk
* Tall Cabinet with Tote Tray Storage
* Synergy Sink Cabinet
* Goggle Cabinet
* Wall Mounted Drying Rack
* Student Utility Tables
* ADA Adjustable Height Student Table
* VS America PantoMove Chairs

For more information on Sheldon Laboratory Systems, visit www.sheldonlabs.com.

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