Conor Quigley's tentative floor plan

Second-year ARCH Student, Conor Quigley, Shares Renovation Project

By UM News

Second-year ARCH Student, Conor Quigley, Shares Renovation Project

By UM News
"Life often presents us with opportunities to help others and give back using our talents and skills.  Often we do not recognize these chances to do good, even though they are right in front of us.  This past Summer, I was fortunate to have an opportunity like this presented to me, and I seized it.

My Alma Mater, Saint Joseph High School in Metuchen, NJ, was undergoing a series of renovations.  One of the high priority renovations involved updating the Campus Store.  The Campus Store is one of many focal points on campus.  Students purchase uniforms, athletic gear and clothing branded with the school’s logo.

I became aware of the renovation when the Campus Store Manager, my Mom, Mrs. Maureen Quigley, and School President, Mr. Justin Fleetwood, were discussing the potential changes to the store.  Listening to the conversation, I knew I could help, and immediately volunteered to do the design of the renovated store.  We discussed the requirements, colors, the design, the budget, and the timeline.  The new store required an open floor plan key with a large sales counter that provided storage space, a pull-out tray for dispensing tissue and wrapping paper, and multiple counter heights to meet ADA standards.  Complimentary features included multi-level cubes for displaying T-Shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies; accent lighting; and wall accents that highlighted the Saint Joe’s brand.  I created the open floor plan by knocking down two interior walls that formerly housed a storage room.  The client decided on wall colors that would brighten up the room, but wanted to fashion it to integrate the school's colors.  We painted the main wall the dominant school color, falcon green, and flanked it with pale gray on the remaining three walls.  I placed a custom-built sales desk in front of the main wall that supported all of the client's requirements.  The placement gave the client visibility to the store’s entrance and the entire sales floor.  Having visited the University of Miami campus store, the client was impressed by the style of the word mark behind the counter, and desired a similar effect for the Saint Joe’s Campus Store. 

I completed the digital design and reviewed it with the general contractor.  During the review, the contractor advised that the project would take four to six weeks to complete.  This would not meet the client's timeline.  I consulted with the client and decided that I would be the general contractor for the renovation; yes, this meant I was building the sales desk myself!  After ten days of work, the store was complete.  I built the custom sales desk as the store's focal point.  It was twelve feet long and thirty inches deep, with built in storage, and slide out dispensing trays.  I fashioned silver-gray bamboo flooring to the front and sides of the desk and added custom molding to create a clean, crisp look. I added a white faux marble finish countertop to create a stark contrast against the falcon green wall in the background.  The final touches included a custom-cut version of the school's logo fashioned to the front of the counter, and a Campus Store word "mark/marquee" on the wall behind the sales counter.  The finishing touches completed the job to the client's delight.

This project was complete, within budget, and finished in time for me to have one final day of summer break before returning to the U to begin my sophomore year at the School of Architecture!  The most rewarding part of this project was the ability to give back to my high school who helped set my foundation for my college experience."