ISU Carpenters Team in the shop.

Illinois State’s carpenters team: Mike Crutcher (left), Gary Leach, Barry Wirtz, Mark Weissinger, Jacob Hobby, John Bounds, Troy Kizer, Rafael Macias, Preston Sweeney, Chad Hoelscher, Juan Covarrubias, Steve Peckmann, and Chad Doty. Not pictured: Joe Wolf, Scott Russell, Bill Norfleet, Greg Reeves, and Mike Toney.

To be a carpenter means to be knowledgeable in a wide array of areas and materials, not just wood working. This is one of the reasons Illinois State’s carpenters enjoy their jobs; each day they have the opportunity to do something different. How different can it be? Check out the wide array of work a carpenter can perform:

  • Concrete work
  • Foundation work
  • Locksmith and key shop
  • Building structures, wall framing, floor systems, roofing, metal door frames, scaffolding
  • Finishing work—flooring, trim, doors, frames, hardware, ceilings
  • Roof finishes—wood, metal, asphalt, rubber
  • Building modular furniture or fixing broken furniture
  • Boarding up broken windows
  • Demolition work

Essentially, anything mechanically put together is something carpenters will work on.

Of the 18 carpenters, 16 work on first shift. The two carpenters on second shift divide the work so one is assigned to projects while the other performs maintenance and responds to after hour calls for situations that need immediate attention. If an emergency arises on third shift, one of the members will answer the call to come in.

One of the most memorable jobs Illinois State carpenters have completed involves sporting scuba gear to fix a leak at the bottom of the swimming pool with a special caulk. What are the odds one of the team members would have their own scuba gear?

Speaking of the pool, how do you think burnt out light bulbs over the swimming pool get replaced? The carpenters built scaffolding in the water, taking extra care to not scratch the pool floor. Once they have it built to the correct height, the Electricians can climb the scaffolding to replace light bulbs. So to answer the age old joke of how many people it takes to change a light bulb: If it’s over a large swimming pool, it takes a lot!

The diverse work and the campus community are two things carpenters really enjoy about their jobs. These individuals are very talented in a variety of specialties which allows them to handle whatever comes their way. They share their knowledge with each other, realizing the power of the whole team is greater than any one individual. Illinois State should be proud of these professionals and the work they do.