Film Jobs May/June 2023June 12th, 2023 by Nathan Hobbs
Vandalized Youth Center Finds Sense of Security
Edited by Chris Collier
Adrop-in activity center for LGBTQIA+ youth in suburban Cleveland is a safer, happier place today thanks to solar safety interior window films.
It was a celebratory time for the Colors+ Youth Center last April as it moved into its new 1,200-square-foot storefront location in Fairview Park, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. The center for LGBTQIA+ youth ages 11-19 had been in a cramped 250-square-foot space since its founding four years earlier, so the new location “was just a huge difference,” Colors+ Community
engagement director Shannon Scott-Miller says.
“Colors+ is the only LGBTQIA+ youth center in Ohio that has licensed mental health counselors on site, so we get a lot of referrals from high school counselors and family mental health practitioners,” she says. “The kids like it because it’s set up to let them be themselves. They told us at the start that they just want a safe place where they can enjoy activities and have friends who are LGBTQIA+. We have parents driving from as far as two hours away because their child wants to come here.”
It was a depressing reality check when police discovered spray-painted homophobic and racist graffiti on the side of the building. A short time later, the center was vandalized with another hateful spray-painted message and a brick thrown through the front window.
“People said it was just one bad apple, but we know that’s not the case,” Scott-Miller says. The staff asked around about window safety film and were referred by an Avery Dennison employee to Rachel Schabroni of Solar Solutions Window Tinting in Mentor, Ohio. “Shannon was initially focused on the safety aspect of the film because of the vandalism,” Schabroni shares. “But when she said they wouldn’t mind if the film was tinted, I pointed out that a tinted solar safety film would also reduce heat gain and glare and provide UV protection and privacy.”
Schabroni recommended Avery Dennison NT PerLite Ceramic™ 35 10 mil, an interior window film, neutral grey in color with solar rejection. “It was the first film that came to my mind because at 35% Visual Light Transmission (VLT), the film isn’t very dark, and it comes in the 10 mil thickness for better hazard protection,” she says.
The initial quote was higher than Colors+ expected, and Schabroni didn’t hear back for a while. “Then Shannon called and said they could afford it after all—Avery Dennison was donating the film,” Schabroni adds.
Because thicker films can be a little trickier to install compared to thinner ones, Schabroni and her team took extra steps to enhance the security of the film. To work around the doorstop at the top of the front door, they had a glass company they frequently work with come by and pop out the glass. That enabled Solar Solutions to apply the film all the way to the edge of the glass, behind the rubber gasket and the frame itself. With the storefront windows, they popped out the rubber seal to install the film behind it. The glass company then caulked all the way around for added strength in case of active or attempted break-in.
Chris Collier is the editor of Window Film magazine.
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