Archive for Wednesday, January 28, 2004

K-State architecture class to help arts center

January 28, 2004

A group of Kansas State University students were in class this weekend, but the class was in Baldwin, not Manhattan.

A K-State architecture class spent Saturday in Baldwin getting its first glimpse of its most recent class project -- the lumberyard arts center.

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Sandy Cardens, arts center steering committee member, said the students were in town getting a start on their class project. She said the students, at no cost to the community, will be spending the next six or seven weeks coming up with a number of designs that can be incorporated into the arts center as it undergoes construction.

"No one on the steering committee is an architect," Cardens said. "Our main goal in doing this is to get as many ideas as we can for the arts center."

K-State architecture professor Don Watts said the students in the class are juniors half way through the five-year architecture program.

He said it's not unusual for architecture classes to work with communities on projects such as Baldwin's.

"This particular one seemed like a good opportunity," he said. "The scope of the project fit their level of difficulty they're ready to deal with."

Watts said he thought the project would be a good hands-on experience for the 13 students in the class.

"This is the first time they have worked with a community and exchanged ideas with the public," he said. "This experience can be very good for professional development."

The students spent Saturday taking a tour of the lumberyard as well as Baldwin and becoming familiar with the goals and ideas of the arts center steering committee.

Watts said he thought the visit to Baldwin was productive.

"I think it went very well. It was a very informative meeting," he said.

"One student had been in Baldwin before, otherwise this was a new experience for them," he said. "The class was very, very pleased with the whole feel of the town. We found it very pleasant and hospitable."

Now that the students have visited, he said, they will each develop a design proposal for the arts center. Feb. 13, the arts center steering committee will travel to K-State to meet with the students for an update on the project.

On March 6, the students will return to Baldwin and present their completed designs at a public forum.

Cardens said the ideas can then be given to contractors to find out costs for the different designs and options, and the committee can decide where to go from there.

She said she thought this would be a good partnership with K-State, which would allow the community to choose from a variety of options to construct the best arts center possible.

"What we are trying to accomplish is getting as much input as possible in the design area to make sure we don't miss something," she said.

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