When Rickover Naval Academy opened in Chicago, Ill., in September of 2005, approximately 120 cadets were enrolled. Fifteen year later, the cross-educational prep academy has been named a top-20 high school by Chicago magazine and in the top 25 in Illinois by US News and World Report. Now at an enrollment of more than 500 cadets, RNA needed a new facility to match their expansion.
After 28 years in the Marine Corps., Col. Lawrence J. Kaifesh retired and took the post of Commandant at RNA in 2019. He was tasked with finding a way to store their substantial stock of uniforms in their new storage room. Previously, the academy used a mix of wire shelving, boxes on the floor and heavy industrial shelving that couldn’t fit in their new space.
“I did look at some of the wire kind of [shelving] that I’d seen used at other facilities, but…it looks raggedy, it looks like it doesn’t age well and it rusts. I didn’t want to go that route even though it was cheaper. I wanted to try to make it a first-class entity,” said Kaifesh.
Kaifesh has a friend who has Camshelving® in their restaurant. When Kaifesh told him about the academy’s shelving project, he suggested he look into Cambro’s shelving options.
“I got my hands on the Cambro shelving and it looked like it was for food, but it was also rust proof, it was also life lasting, it was going to be easy to assemble and maintain and add onto. We went with that and it’s been phenomenal,” said Kaifesh.
Kaifesh chose Camshelving Basics Plus, which is designed from break resistant composite plastic and comes with a lifetime guarantee against corrosion and rust. Timing can be everything during construction and renovation. Kaifesh needed the shelving to arrive after the room was ready but before all of the uniforms arrived.
“We told them when we wanted it and about a month and a half later, they got it to us within a day or two of the date they told us. They gave us a short window and they came right in the window,” said Kaifesh. “As far as the whole transaction from A through Z, it was the most seamless I’ve ever had. I want to compliment not only the company, but [my Cambro rep], she was on it from the get-go.”
Rickover Naval Academy is growing so rapidly that Kaifesh is already looking ahead to their next Camshelving project.
“We’re getting ready to probably order more [Camshelving] as our cadets grow and our stockpiles grow. I’ll probably grab the rolling shelves so that we can move it if need be. We have spaces that are being developed as we speak; construction is still taking place,” said Kaifesh.
From freezers to dry storage, there’s a Camshelving product for every need. Click here to learn more about Cambro’s Shelving for Life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: ADRIANA DESIDERIO IS THE DIGITAL CONTENT MANAGER AT CAMBRO.