By Doug Dalsing
The perfect floor covering for a kids’ museum exhibit focused on salvaged, recycled and repurposed materials? Reclaimed gym flooring, of course, and that’s exactly what directors of the Madison Children’s Museum chose for their Possible-opolis exhibit. Brenda Baker, the museum’s exhibits director, learned of a junior high in Oak Creek, Wis., that was tearing out its old gym floor and looking for a buyer; the school was being demolished. Baker and her team fell in love with the flooring immediately. Back in Madison, Appleton, Wis.-based Baseman Floors re-installed it in a random pattern, highlighting the colorfulness of the gym floor’s court lines. Today, the flooring offers a fanciful complement to the interactive exhibits in Possible-opolis, which includes the Hodgepodge Mahal (a climber and slide made from a Lake Michigan buoy and a three-wheeled car) and the Tinkerers’ Workshop (made from an old airplane and a recycled tabletop). “The whole point of Possible-opolis was to make an exhibit that inspires invention and creativity, and to make everything out of reclaimed parts,” Baker says, and this colorful flooring fits the bill in every way.