Doug Brunkow has been at the Lab for 13 years. He supports science by recycling Lab land, tearing down outdated buildings and preparing the land to build new research facilities. He and his team have recycled land at Old Town and Bayview and constructed new facilities such as BELLA and FLEXLAB.
One of the most challenging aspects of Brunkow’s job is to take away parking spaces. And the most satisfying part is returning parking spaces. Preparation at Old Town is moving into a new phase and that means Brunkow and his crew can return about 20 parking spaces near the ALS and Buildings 30 and 33.
Parking is already scarce at the Lab. Why do you need to take any more spaces for construction?
In order to construct, we first need to deconstruct or tear down what is there. We need what we call lay down space. That area is used to bring in equipment and materials and leave us room for demolition. I feel for our staff since I can see the frustration as people drive around looking for spaces. We use the spaces for the shortest amount of time possible.
How do you select which parking spaces to use for your lay down area?
Based on the location of the work to be performed, we clear the space we need for safety and to have the least impact on the route of travel. We need room to turn massive equipment, and we need to leave enough space so we don’t take out your car when we do that. There have been a few incidents where a truck has impacted a parked vehicle and the truck wins.
Even with all these challenges, how does it feel to be part of the Lab’s team?
It is all about advancing the Lab and advancing science. In the past few years, we’ve opened buildings 59, 30, 33, and 91. We have dozens of infrastructure projects such as electrical upgrades that are needed to support the buildings. We are preparing Old Town and Bay View for eventual construction. It is satisfying to see these buildings go up. And before you ask, no, there is no parking structure on the list.