Steelcase Supports “School Pride” with Best-in-Class Furniture

Steelcase employees volunteer to paint, clean and install furniture at Detroit school in danger of closing

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Nov. 3, 2010 – School Pride, a brand-new NBC television series showcasing public school renovations, will feature volunteers and educational solutions from Steelcase Inc. (NYSE:SCS), the global furniture manufacturer, in the Friday, November 5 episode. Airing nationally on NBC, the episode will chronicle the makeover from outdated classrooms to classrooms of the future at the Communication and Media Arts High School in Detroit, Mich.

“With 100 percent of seniors graduating and a dropout rate of virtually zero, Communication and Media Arts High School is one of Detroit’s top institutions,” said Donya Odom, principal at Communication and Media Arts High School. “However, like many high schools and universities around the country, our classrooms need to transform and better support our students and educators. This makeover is a dream come true for our institution.”

Steelcase donated $150,000 worth of product to the project, and more than 50 employees volunteered to help unload furniture, paint and clean the 52-year-old school, which was in major disrepair. In fact, the school was on Detroit Public School’s cut list, which would mean closing the building and sending the 480 students to other schools in the district.

The library in particular needed a makeover, as it had been shut down for two years because of lack of funding. Instead, it was being used as a storage area. Steelcase donated a media:scape technology table, cobi chairs and lounge settings from the Turnstone Campfire collection to the space, which will now be staffed by a volunteer parent.

Steelcase also provided node, the new classroom chairs from Steelcase Education. The node chair is mobile and flexible, designed to support the multiple modes of learning. The node chair offers a classroom that can flex from a lecture-based mode to a team-based mode, and back again, without interruption.

“When we were contacted by the producers of School Pride about helping with the renovation of CMA , we knew we could really make a difference by leveraging the extensive research we’ve conducted in the education market,” said Jim Keane, president of Steelcase Group. “And we didn’t want to simply donate product to the school. We wanted to be a part of the process and solution by volunteering to help makeover the school. It was a great experience.”

Airing at 8/7c on NBC, the School Pride episode will show students, teachers, parents, community and Steelcase volunteers as they help rebuild Communication and Media Arts High School. The show concludes with the unveiling of the upgraded facilities. School Pride is produced by Denise Cramsey Productions and Horizon Alternative Television.

Learn more about the products
node: Steelcase introduced node earlier this year to update traditional classrooms, which are designed for one-way learning, with tight rows of desks and chairs. Contrarily, node provides key features like its swivel seat to help students maintain open sightlines, casters for mobility and quick mode change, backpack storage and a large adjustable worksurface that supports modern communication equipment which the students utilize.

media:scape: Merging furniture and technology, media:scape will help students in the school’s media center to seamlessly collaborate and share information. Most classrooms today support teacher-led presentations where information is controlled and shared by the teacher alone. media:scape removes these barriers and democratizes how students access and share information by allowing both teachers and students to contribute their ideas.

cobi: Part of the collaborative seating category, cobi chairs include automatic and intuitive features which support multiple postures. For longer classes or presentations, cobi offers students comfort over a longer period of time by supporting movement and adjusting with the user.

Campfire: Additionally, the Campfire collection from Turnstone, a Steelcase brand, is a work environment inspired by familiar indoor and outdoor spaces. The user-centered lounge and table products are informal, meant to create a sense of community for the students and help generate ideas in a more comfortable environment.

About Steelcase Inc.
Steelcase Inc. helps create great experiences — wherever work happens. Our brands offer a comprehensive portfolio of workplace furnishings, products and services, inspired by nearly 100 years of insight gained serving the world’s leading organizations. We are globally accessible through a network of channels, including over 650 dealers. We design for social, economic, and environmental sustainability. Steelcase is a global, publicly traded company leading our industry with fiscal 2010 revenue of approximately $2.3 billion.

Sara Whitman