By Lauren Huneycutt,
Down into the ground and up the hill by moving walkway. Many of you have seen the display for the soon-to-come underground tunnel starting in the @One of the Knowledge Center. Two glued together, five-by-ten foot photo prints are hanging where the old nine-TV display used to be. If one wishes for information about the tunnel, there is a sign hanging above the display that says to contact firstname.lastname@example.org. So far, dudewheresmytunnel has received only two emails inquiring about the project, but the rumors about details of the tunnel have spread in no time.
With all the financial difficulties and cutbacks the University of Nevada, Reno has had to make, creating a tunnel with a moving walkway for students to get from the library to the fitness center could be controversial. It may seem like an unreasonable investment, but could be argued that UNR needs to continue to have the most current technology. However, most students have not taken the time to ask the help desk or use the email service to inquire about the budget and location details.
When asking students about their opinion of the tunnel, extremely varied answers were received. “Oh yeah! The thing that’s going to Lombardi,” or “It will be so cool to have a tunnel going to the parking garage,” and “That’s the stupidest idea we’ve ever had.”
For the project, the university would need an entire team of designers and engineers, who have not yet been hired, to figure out how to get the tunnel underground, since as of right now, if one were to blast through the wall display, they would end up in the sunshine, above ground, in front of the library.
The university does have a website where students can go to see future development plans for the property. No such plans exist for the tunnel.
Harry Thomas is the man who was put in charge of answering the dudewheresmytunnel emails. Thomas is the @One help desk manager. He specializes in prints, posters and photography.
“The company we contracted with to install the screen array of TVs went out of business just as we needed repairs on it,” Thomas said. “We did the best we could to get it repaired. We had it limping along for a while, but finally we had to give it up. We decided to tear everything out of there and look for someone else who can put something pretty spectacular up there for us.”
Well, what’s more spectacular than an underground tunnel with a moving walkway? Being appointed the head of the crew to put the tunnel display together, Thomas used this opportunity to train the new @One hires on the printing equipment. The employee techs down on the first floor of the KC need to be well versed on the machines, so practicing printing two huge posters is good experience.
“Some people walk by the display, smile, take phone shots and shake their heads,” Thomas said. “Students are either thrilled to death, or horrified the university is spending money on something like this.”
Well, to the disappointment of some and peace of mind for others, the tunnel is a gimmick. Thomas said he and his crew did their best to “leave seeds and clues” for students to figure out that the tunnel was a joke, such as the email address and the irony of a moving walkway delivering students to their workouts. Thomas was assigned the task of coming up with something clever to cover the holes in the wall and all the remaining hanging wires from the TVs. He caught student’s attention with his display and also was able to show off the talents and capabilities that the @One has in photo printing.