American Seating

Biola University


Cachet Swing-Away seating, Dimension® 677 seating


9 Classrooms


Biola University, La Mirada, CA


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Project Overview

Biola University is a private sectarian university in California founded more than 100 years ago. The university was looking for opportunities to grow its reputation. A new 32,000 square foot home for their Crowell School of Business was just what the doctor ordered. American Seating played an integral role in the planning and construction of this $13.3 million project, which was opened to students in April of 2007.

Gensler & Associates, a nationally recognized architecture firm, was awarded the project and contacted American Seating to deliver seating solutions for nine classrooms. Biola wanted an upscale look with user-friendly features, and American Seating was included in the selection and planning from the early stages of the project, which took two years to complete.


Initially, Gensler & Associates had received drawings from another manufacturer, but they were not happy with the results. The client was looking for a sophisticated look, as well as a seating solution that delivered a high level of functionality. For the eight upstairs classrooms, students needed the ability to interact with those around them, while maintaining a neat and tidy look when not in use. Competitive products couldn’t meet these challenges in a curved format. For the ninth classroom, Biola was looking for a high-end design with a beam mount that maximized row width. According to Biola Facilities Director Ken Bascom, “the goal was to put together a building that would communicate quality to the corporate world and prospective students — both undergraduate and MBA.”


American Seating’s solution was to create a product specifically for Biola’s needs. For the eight upstairs classrooms, Cachet Swing-Away chairs were selected, with modesty panels in front reaching nearly to the floor. Matching side-end panels and an actual wood edge around the entire work surface instead of a molded edge created the upscale look the client sought. For the eight upstairs classrooms, Cachet Swing-Away chairs were selected, and Dimension 677 was used for the ninth.

Once the product and materials were agreed upon, American Seating Project Manager Mike DeFazio worked closely with Biola and Gensler to develop the electrical stub-up plan that would eventually bring power to the tables before pouring the concrete for the risers. Further assistance was provided in the development and installation for all nine classrooms to bring the project together.


When the project was complete Biola was incredibly pleased, and they are interested in working with American Seating again in the future. In fact, it turned out so well that the custom solution became a great example of the custom work that American Seating has prided itself upon for over 120 years.