Villi®Glas greets students in alligator mural
November 1st, 2004

In Dickinson, Texas, about 25 miles south of Houston, a gator stands watch over the town’s middle school children. A Villi®glas glass tile mural, the reptile represents Dunbar Middle as the school’s mascot, hanging over the students in the main corridor.

CLR, Inc. (architects, engineers, surveyors, GIS) of Texas designed the new middle school and alligator mural. According to Tom Hunter, A.I.A, Senior Project Manager of CLR, the gator is a special focal point for the students as they circulate through the 110,000 square foot school. “The visual depth and reflectance of the glass tile contrasts with the other materials in the corridor and adds sparkle and interest at an architectural/visual terminus,” said Hunter. Also involved in the Dunbar Middle School project was contractor Tellepsen Builders, L.P. of Houston, tile contractor Southern Tile and Terrazzo Co., Inc., also of Houston, and tile supplier American Tile Supply of Texas.

According to Michael Maraldo, President of Southern Tile and Terrazzo, the alligator was an atypical tile mural because it was not pre-finished before arriving at the project site. Extensive work in the field was required to install and patch the gator’s glass tile.

“Due to the alligator’s irregular edges, the Dunbar Middle School project definitely differed from conventional glass tile mural installations,” said Maraldo. “Many glass tile pieces were filled in at the jobsite by hand and some were removed for the mural anchoring system. He continued: “Villi® glas River Mosaic tile really gave the finished mural an authentic, scaley look—perfect for an alligator.” Approximately 32 square feet of Royal Blue Villi® glas River Mosaic and 18 square feet of Turquoise Villi®glas Baby River Mosaic tile were utilized in the Dunbar Middle School alligator mural. CLR designers worked closely with Villi®glas in choosing the tile and sizes for the “scale” effect. “A project such as this just illustrates the creative uses of glass tile,” said Rich Meadows of Euro-Tile. (

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