Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
March 8, 1996

Wanted: Presidential table

White House likes ISU handiwork

by Linda Charles

White House planners are getting attached to a table built for Bill Clinton's visit to Iowa State last April.

The five-piece sectional table was built for President Clinton's visit to Iowa State for the National Rural Conference. This week, the table traveled to Washington, D.C., for a conference Clinton attended Thursday.

Lynn Seiler, associate director of facilities planning and management, said he visited with one of the president's advance people several times over the weekend about transporting the table to Washington, D.C.

The White House is picking up the bill -- $2,050 for ISU's Ralph Oliver, supervisor of plant services, and Tim Fay, carpenter, to transport and set up the table at the conference.

The table was designed by Steve Prater, an architect with facilities planning and management. It started out simply -- the original idea was for a plywood table draped with a cloth. It evolved into a table made of oak to match the Memorial Union's Great Hall, where the conference was held. The table was built in one of the ISU shops.

"It looked pretty good," Seiler said. "The president's advance team was thrilled."

Iowa State officials were contacted once before about using the table for a conference the president was attending in Portland, Ore. However, Seiler said, the cost of transporting the table (each of the five sections is about 8 feet long) would have been exorbitant, so Seiler sent the plans for the table instead.

Iowa State most recently used three sections of the table during the NAFTA Summit held at Iowa State in January.

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