Big Bend Community College

Big Bend Community College

CI Makes the Grade at Big Bend Community College

Higher education demands first-rate quality and design. Challenged with designing and building custom furniture for the new library and Grant County Advanced Technologies Education Center at Big Bend Community College (BBCC), Washington State Correctional Industries (CI) surpassed expectations and saved the college over two hundred thousand dollars in the process.

Big Bend's new facility houses both the library and the board room, both of which are highly representative of the college. The college president would accept nothing less than the highest quality in design and craftsmanship. Additionally, architectural features, such as large scenic windows, exposed woodwork and arched ceilings created a unique ambiance that the furniture needed to compliment. A great deal of custom work was required to fit furniture to special purposes and the architectural features.

Architects originally specified furniture from another supplier, but Vice President of Administrative Services Ken Turner elected Correctional Industries to meet the challenge. He was confident in CI's reputation for quality and saw an opportunity for significant savings. "These capital projects are always under funded," Turner said, "With Correctional Industries, I saved half the price and the quality is first rate."

  • In the library, high-quality hardwood tables, chairs and study carrels were selected to provide a formal study area. In other areas of the library, Big Bend officials wanted to create a quiet, more comfortable lounge area in which students could study.
  • For the hallways of the new building, CI custom made a collection of arm chairs with finished hardwood sides and arms to match the hardwood features found throughout the building.
  • In the cafeteria, Correctional Industries placed Europa pedestal tables and Dakota stackable chairs to create opportunity for a variety of seating arrangements.

In the library, high-quality hardwood tables, chairs and study carrels were selected to provide a formal study area. In other areas of the library, Big Bend officials wanted to create a quiet, more comfortable lounge area in which students could study.

Professionalism and Quality: Guaranteed

Space Planning for the Big Bend project was designed by Correctional Industries' CAD Services team, comprised of inmates at the Washington State Corrections Center for Women. Most of the custom furniture pieces for the project were produced at the McNeil Island manufacturing facilities in Steilacoom. Other pieces were manufactured at Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla. Turner reports a high level of professionalism and workmanship provided by Correctional Industries' crews, including the inmate crew that installed and made on site alterations to the furniture.


  • Big Bend required a highly-flexible arrangement in the multipurpose classrooms so that a variety of needs could be met. With guidance from Correctional Industries, Turner and his staff selected Correctional Industries' technology-ready Europa tables and Value stackable chairs, which are as comfortable as they are functional.
  • In the educational center's conference room, Correctional Industries designed a modular table system that can be re-configured to serve a variety of needs and purposes. The custom tables were paired with chairs from Correctional Industries' Matchmaker line, which are popular for their comfort and economical price.

Big Bend required a highly-flexible arrangement in the multipurpose classrooms so that a variety of needs could be met. With guidance from Correctional Industries, Turner and his staff selected Correctional Industries' technology-ready Europa tables and Value stackable chairs, which are as comfortable as they are functional.

When Timing is Critical, Choose Washington CI

Deadlines were also a significant challenge for the Big Bend project. Correctional Industries was tapped for the project when construction of the building was nearly complete and school officials wanted the facility available for the coming fall quarter. After designs for the furniture were complete and approved, CI had three months to build and install all the furniture, including custom pieces. "It was a short time span. Especially for custom furniture," said CI Account Executive George McGrath.

During the installation, CI's installation crew found that several furniture pieces needed on-site alteration in order to fit new fire code regulations. Despite the changes that needed to be made and the many truckloads of furniture to be delivered, CI successfully installed it all in plenty of time.

We Excel at Service

Correctional Industries' unparalleled customer service extends beyond delivery of the project. When Big Bend needed additional alterations after the installation, Correctional Industries crews responded immediately to meet the need. "The rapid response CI gave us was great; they were Johnny-on-the-spot," Turner said. Since the library project, Big Bend has utilized several divisions of Correctional Industries and continues to be impressed by the high quality of service. Turner reports plans to use Correctional Industries furniture and other services for several upcoming projects. "We've been treated well by Correctional Industries for a number of years," Turner said. "I think it's a great deal all around."

"With Correctional Industries, I saved half the price and the quality is first rate."

— Ken Turner, BBCC