The Refinishing Touch Delivers Sustainability to University of Wisconsin-Stout

A leading asset management provider breathes new life into furniture and fixtures at University of Wisconsin-Stout while reducing cost, downtime and environmental impact.

The Refinishing Touch has successfully completed a furniture refinishing project at the University of Wisconsin’s Stout campus. The project refinished over 500 assets––including built-in desks, bookcases, closets––with laminate replacement and color-changing processes that restored pieces to like-new condition.

The University of Wisconsin-Stout is the polytechnic arm of the broader University of Wisconsin (UW) system and provides students with comprehensive, career-focused education through applied learning, scientific theory and research in an innovative, technology-rich environment.

Wigen Hall was built in the early 1970s and its original furniture assets are still in use today. Over the years these assets have suffered typical wear-and-tear damage and fallen behind current design standards. Through the implementation of furniture asset management services, the University of Wisconsin-Stout was able to extend the life of each piece and dramatically improved the appearance of furnishings for incoming students.

Operating within a narrow timeframe, The Refinishing Touch completed its work efficiently and returned rooms to use in just 30 days while lowering expenditure by 77.4% percent, from $658,595.35 to $149,090.76, when compared with buying new. Through waste-diversion and the use of low-VOC lacquers and sustainable materials, the project saved an estimated 268 tons of carbon emissions and the equivalent of 72 trees from landfill, when compared with buying new.

“Before researching renovation options for Wigen Hall, I was only vaguely aware of services such as furniture refinishing, but it quickly became clear that The Refinishing Touch offered a far more comprehensive service than its competitors,” said Jerry Duncanson, senior facility planner at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. “The company was able to provide what we needed at a compelling price in tune with our budget, and was more organized than the other providers researched. The University of Wisconsin holds a high regard for the environment, so the sustainable benefits of The Refinishing Touch’s services were of great importance to us. For more than 30 years we’ve taken recyclability and scalability into account when purchasing assets for residential halls. I would certainly recommend The Refinishing Touch to any institution embarking on a similar project to ours and look forward to future projects.”

“The Refinishing Touch is committed to providing cost-effective, sustainable furnishing and renovation options to colleges and universities across North America and is well-versed in operating under small windows of time for education renovation projects,” said Mario Insenga, president and founder of The Refinishing Touch. “We understand the need for suitable learning environments and take pride in helping educational facilities provide these for their students. Working with the team at University of Wisconsin-Stout was a true pleasure and we look forward to forging an ongoing working relationship.”

For more information on The Refinishing Touch’s work within the higher education sector, please see the accompanying infographic here