new desk at ARC from mill

Mill Shapes an Oval at ARC

I love to hear the reaction from our students and patrons when they see the improvements we’ve made. The reception of the new Member Services desk, along with the addition of the automatic turnstiles, has been very positive. We listen with the intent to understand and make improvements, and we were able to do that with this project.

Terry Elmore, Associate Director of Operations

F&S mill workers use age-old woodworking techniques to shape, cut, sand, and combine lumber to build things. Common builds include doors, furniture, and shelving. Customer satisfaction is the driving force behind all work from the mill, according to foreperson Andy Burnett.

ARC’s Turn

The Activities & Recreation Center aimed to improve interactions with members, so Campus Recreation leaders contacted the F&S Mill Shop asking for a new desk.

I’ve developed a very good rapport with F&S in the eight years I’ve been in my position as Associate Director of Operations at Campus Recreation. We couldn’t do facility projects without the folks at F&S. They always do a tremendous job! I respect the relationships we’ve built over the years. When Campus Rec starts a new renovation, we meet with F&S so we can share the vision of the project. Then I get to watch our collective ideas come to fruition. The new Member Services desk and reconfiguration of the Member Services counter was no exception.

Terry Elmore, Associate Director of Operations

This oval measures 17 feet wide and 9 feet across. Two staff can comfortably work at the desk.

The impetus for this project was feedback from our patrons and staff. Patrons can now make purchases and receive assistance from Member Services at multiple touchpoints. The central desk and reconfigured counter area, along with the automatic turnstiles, provide an added layer of facility security. It also improves the working environment for our staff on the front lines by increasing the efficiency of our operations.

Lauren Wheeler, Assistant Director of Member Services

Mill worker Jeremy Taylor led the project. The installation process took about a week.

The Rehearsal

The desk was built and assembled in the shop, then dismantled and re-assembled at ARC.

The first assembly occurred in the mill shop at the Physical Plant Services Building (PPSB).

Burnett detailed the main reason for this build-take apart-build process: transporting large pieces is much easier in sections. Sometimes, the desk will not fit through a doorway in one piece anyway.

Other jobs done in a similar manner include: the Main Library information desk, the Alice Campbell Alumni Center reception desk, the University High School main office desk, the Small Animal Clinic at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital main check-in desk, the College of Veterinary Medicine South Clinic main desk, a 510 Devonshire Drive reception desk for the School of Social Work and the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory Main Building reception desk.

Inside the Oval

Three-quarters-inch plywood “studs” attach to top and bottom plates to create the walls. The studs each have holes in them to allow electricity wires and data cables to run throughout the desk.

“Kerfkore” flexible panels form to the studs along a gentle curve. The 4 x 8 x 3/4″ panels are made up of a ‘kerfed’ particle board with a Masonite face.

Each individual outside panel was formed to the outside radius, then covered with colored plastic laminate. The panels are removable to be able to access the wiring, if needed.