Sagging Middle School Ceiling Wins “Ugly Ceilings” Contest

This classroom at Lisha Kill Middle School in Albany, NY was the winner of the Armstrong® “Show Us Your Ugly Ceilings” Contest.

Sometimes being ugly pays off. After submitting a photo of a sagging ceiling that was coming apart above a classroom at Lisha Kill Middle School, Facilities Director Mike O’Neil of the South Colonie School District in Albany, NY, was recently named the winner of the Armstrong® “Show Us Your Ugly Ceilings” Contest.

The contest, sponsored by Armstrong Ceiling & Wall Systems, offered building owners and facility managers an opportunity to win a grand prize of 1,000 square feet of Ultima® ceiling panels by submitting a photo of a stained, dirty, or damaged ceiling in their facility.

After determining that the damaged middle school ceiling was the “ugliest” one entered in the contest, a panel of Armstrong experts awarded 1,000 square feet of Ultima ceiling panels to O’Neil. The new panels were used to replace the damaged ceiling in the middle school classroom.

Winning the contest enabled O’Neil to replace the ailing ceiling without dipping into his tight maintenance budget.

“We try to replace as many of these old ceiling panels as we can, but we’re on a tight budget,“ he explains. “That’s why I entered the contest – to see if I could win some new ceiling panels.”

Like Night and Day

O’Neil received many compliments from school officials after the Ultima ceiling was installed.

“The new ceiling came out great,” says O’Neil, who was able to quickly replace the old ceiling panels using the existing grid. “It looks beautiful. It made a huge difference in the way that room looks. It’s like night and day.”

In addition to their smooth, clean visual, Ultima ceiling panels feature new Total AcousticsTM performance, which provides both sound absorption and sound blocking in the same panel. To deliver that performance, the panels have a Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) of 0.70, meaning they absorb 70% of the sound that strikes them, and a Ceiling Attenuation Class (CAC) of 35, meaning they help block sound from intruding into adjacent spaces. Total Acoustics performance provides the design flexibility needed to adapt spaces to new uses while maintaining the acoustical requirements for each type of space.

Ultima ceiling panels also offer high light reflectance, up to 80 percent recycled content, and have additional attributes that can contribute to LEED credit categories.

Click here for more information on easy steps for replacing damaged ceilings in your facility.


  1. Another great idea is creating a ceiling mural that spans from wall to wall. This site has some examples of sky ceiling panels and they seem to create a relaxing environment, you can also use LED lighting to heighten the mood and make it more realistic

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