The Fabric-Wrapped Fiberglass Sky Is Falling… On Students

May 2, 2022

Officials at Toronto’s Islington Junior Middle School needed to replace old ceiling panels that were a danger to students and staff.

Toronto, Canada
Toronto District School Board

Islington Junior Middle School in Toronto had a problem. The fabric-wrapped fiberglass panels installed on the ceilings and walls in many of the classrooms were detaching and dropping to the floor. They had to be replaced and quickly before they landed on an unsuspecting student or faculty member. The school needed ceiling panels that could be easily installed, even on its curved ceilings. The ideal panels would also be able to offer sound management that could help create quieter classrooms.


Sound management is a common problem in schools. Typical classrooms have many hard surfaces—tile, white boards, black boards, glass—that reflect sound rather than absorb it. All this reflected sound in a space can make it quite difficult for students to hear and understand instruction. Administration officials at Islington Junior Middle School understood the importance of optimized classroom acoustics for student education and contacted Sound Solutions, Ontario, Canada, for acoustic product options.


To improve safety and noise management, SONEX Valueline panels, from pinta acoustic, were selected. These panels offer excellent acoustic control across all frequencies with a noise reduction coefficient (NRC) that ranges from 0.75-1.05. Made from willtec foam, the panels have a subtle surface pattern that adds a little texture to the interior, and they are easily mounted to any ceiling or wall with acouSTIC adhesive.

A total of 5,664-sq.-ft. of 1.875 in.-thick SONEXValueline panels have now been installed in the school. Each of the classrooms has 144 panels on the ceiling. The panels are 24 in. × 48 in. and were easily installed on the curved ceilings with acouSTIC adhesive. Thirty additional 48-in. × 96-in. panels were glued to the walls of each of the classrooms, again using acouSTIC adhesive. The panels in two of the classrooms were coated with pinta’s premium water-based acoustic coating in frost. Panels in the other classrooms have a custom bright-blue water-based acoustic coating.


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