Spotlight Service

Sheet Metal Workers

Shop Spotlight

The sign over the F&S Sheet Metal Shop door in the Physical Plant Service Building says “Miracles with Metal,” and if you watch the workers transform thin sheets of metal into any number of items, you would probably agree.

The Sheet Metal Shop is filled with all types of cutting, bending, hole punching, and welding tools. And of course, hundreds of sheets of varying kinds of metal. Workers craft duct work, down spouts, gutters, roofs, flashings, soffits, architectural elements, and a host of other things.

“If you can draw it, we can make it,” Foreman Randy Reinhart said.

The 21-member shop also is responsible for maintaining all the campus’ metal work, including installing and repairing HVAC duct work, adjusting dampers to control air flow, mounting and certifying fume hoods, and repairing metal items.

“You don’t see a ton of our work because it’s not outside,” Reinhart said. “Duct work is in the ceiling or floor, and a lot of things we do are behind walls or in mechanical rooms.”

Some things you can see are the decorative trim on Foellinger Auditorium’s roof or triangular caps on concrete parking pillars in the garage near Madigan Laboratory.

“We can take a flat piece of metal and turn it into a possible work of art,” Reinhart said. “I take great pride in my craftsmanship, as does everyone in this shop. It’s rewarding to make something out of nothing and hear people say ‘How did you do that?’ and ‘Thank you.’ Even if it’s just adjusting a vent for hot or cold, when people appreciate your effort, it’s rewarding. ”