The Carpentry Shop has the smell of sawdust and the buzzing of saws. The carpenters’ main purpose is to repair or update wooden structures, furnishings, and finishes such as doors, windows, handrails, and cabinets. They also ensure that campus entryways meet federal and state fire and building codes, that handicap-access doors are working, and that podiums and ramps are ready for special events.
There are two main work areas for the carpenters. Some staff are in the Carpentry Shop working on custom cabinetry, furniture repair, or special projects. The remaining staff are out on campus handling daily repair issues. Throughout the year the carpentry staff work in the shop to custom-make cabinets, cubbies, stair treads, doors, etc., that are part of summer projects. Certain kitchens and bathrooms, for example, are identified during the academic year for upgrades. Carpenters then work closely with other trade shops in the process to complete projects. The Plumbing Shop works with them to rip out old kitchens or bathrooms. The Trucking Shop removes the old materials and brings the new cabinets and fixtures to the site. The Paint Shop paints, and the carpenters and plumbers install the new cabinets, fixtures, and appliances, often with the help of the Electrical Shop. These renovations are possible due to the advance preparation by the Carpentry Shop.
The Carpentry Shop also takes pride in the Brownstone Renovation Project that has been in effect for over 25 years. If you have not seen one of the renovated brownstones, make it a personal mission to check out one. These buildings in the historic district on Bay State Road were built as single-family homes from 1890 to 1925. Many of them were broken up into rooming houses at a later date. The Boston University Carpentry Shop has been instrumental in working with the Historic Commission and returning these architectural gems to their former glory—to the delight of Residence Life, the student residents, and their parents. The talented carpenters on staff enjoy flexing their capabilities and challenging their creativity during these summer renovations. In addition to the basic demolition and wall repair, they restore staircases, banisters, fireplace mantels, crown molding, and woodwork.