Duke Crowell Hall

Case Study: Duke University’s Crowell Hall & TROSA Moving

In Blog, case study, Recovery Friendly Workplace by Morgan Dix

Summary: In 2018, we installed 370 sets of bedroom furniture in record time at Duke’s Crowell Hall during an extensive renovation. Here’s the inspiring story of how we managed a dramatically compressed and challenging installation schedule.

Case Study: Duke University Crowell Hall

Project Location: Durham, North Carolina

Dates: 2018

Building Type: Residence Halls

Project Team: Duke, TROSA, DCI,Inc.

Product List: Beds, Wardrobes, Underbed Storage, Desks

Duke’s Crowell Hall

Earlier this year, we had the opportunity to take part in a remarkable installation process at Duke University. You’re probably wondering, how can installing furniture in a university residence hall be all that special?

Trust me, it was uplifting and probably one of the most efficient installations we’ve ever directed.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let me back up and set the scene.

This was our second installation with Duke. When we joined the project, the school was in the midst of a major renovation to one of their older residence halls – Crowell.

Unlike modern residence halls, there wasn’t a uniform room template. It’s an old building and the rooms are all a little different in terms of size and shape.

Like our previous project at Duke, we installed mission style wood furniture.

A Challenging Installation Context

But we were working with a unique set of challenges on this installation.

First, our task was to install a decent amount of furniture, which included:

  • 110 wardrobes
  • 730 underbeds
  • 370 desks
  • 370 twin beds

Those numbers aren’t a big deal, except the renovation had run over the allotted time, so we had a compressed window to install all new furniture into Crowell Hall.

That window wasn’t limited to just getting the furniture in the rooms.

We need time for setup, since some of the furniture requires assembly once it’s in the room. And then we need to perform a final inspection and walkthrough.

Finally, one last factor increased the challenge of this installation. Crowell Hall has no elevator. We had to carry large pieces of furniture by hand up tight, narrow staircases.

For medium-sized projects like this, we usually require two weeks to complete it. That was the allotted timeline. But because of the renovation delays, that got cut in half.

We were scratching our heads. How were we going to manage this without hiring an army?

Well, in a way, that’s exactly what we did. But it wasn’t the kind of army you’re imagining.

TROSA To The Rescue

Fortunately, Duke maintains a relationship with an extraordinary organization called TROSA: Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abuse.

According to it’s website, TROSA

…is an innovative, multi-year residential program that enables substance abusers to be productive, recovering individuals by providing comprehensive treatment, work-based vocational training, education, and continuing care. We are a licensed facility dedicated to providing quality care and services.

For members of TROSA, work is part of their therapy and rehabilitation. And one of their initiatives is a moving company called TROSA Moving, which is rated the largest independent mover in the region for several years running.

In fact, TROSA Moving has won multiple awards including the Angie’s List 2017 Super Service Award and more recently the Independent Weekly’s 2018 Reader’s Choice Poll for “Best Moving Company” in the Triangle!

Here are some numbers that help tell the story of TROSA’s efficacy and achievements. Again, from the TROSA website:

  • TROSA Moving performed nearly 6,000 jobs last year, saving lives one move at a time.
  • Last year we provided over 170,000 days of service to our residents.
  • Nine out of ten of our program graduates remain sober one year after completing treatment.

Duke has a longstanding and productive working relationship with the team at TROSA. It’s one the school is proud of. Historically, TROSA has helped them move classrooms, offices, and furniture on campus.

Installing In Record Time

So it was natural for us to hire TROSA to help with the compressed installation at Crowell Hall. And they delivered. In fact, it really was like working with a small army. TROSA provided us with 50-60 onsite team members.

Because of this, and other factors I’ll outline below, we completed the installation in record time, unloading nine trucks in three days and completing the job in four days.

A few things stood out about our work with the folks at TROSA which contributed to the lightning pace of installation.

First, their work culture is defined by compassion and care. They’re always looking out for and supporting one another.

On top of that, they’re incredibly hard workers. Something you’ll see echoed in many of their customer reviews. And finally, they’re grateful to be working.

You can’t ask for more than that from an installation crew.

The Epitome of Service

At DCI, we pride ourselves on the quality of service we provide to our clients and we strive to provide an unparalleled customer service experience.

So it was easy to recognize that TROSA strives for and expresses the highest level of professionalism.

That’s why this ranks as one of our most satisfying and inspiring installation projects ever.