This item originally appeared in the February 3, 2005 issue of The Tech Talk.
By Valerie Metrejean
This year's senior architecture majors have begun building for future success.
Students in Architecture 480 presented design ideas Jan. 24 and 26 for a Lincoln Parish Park Pavilion Enclosure and a bunkhouse for the Methodist Children's Home's Outdoor Wilderness Learning Center.
"For the past four years, we have set up a project that the [senior] students can work with firsthand, and every year the projects get bigger and more complex," Karl Puljak, the architecture program chair and an associate professor of architecture, said.
Everett Schram, a senior architecture major, said Puljak is a positive leader and gave good direction for the project.
"The students made all decisions, while [the teachers] were stepping back and only there to assist," Puljak said.
Schram said representatives from Lincoln Parish Park and the Methodist Children's Home attended the presentations and will decide within the week which design of two they like best.
"They may like some aspects of each, so designs will probably be combinations of both," Schram said.
Schram said ground should break in the next few weeks and the group hopes to complete the project by May when they expect to graduate.
"We take 473, 480 and 490 [classes] in a sequence in which the project is carried through each," James Knight, a senior architecture major, said.
Knight said his group has "worked countless hours and really enjoyed this project" and is ready to finally get started on the construction.
One of the two projects, a bunkhouse for the OWL Center, would be started from the ground up. Unlike past projects, the team of students had to incorporate conditioning the space, whether keeping it cool or warm.
"We hope it will bring in funds for the OWL Center by bringing church groups and boy and girl scouts who may want to rent the space," Stephanie Boyles, a senior architecture major, said.
Both groups were enthusiastic to begin the hands-on experience.
"We really want to improve Lincoln Parish Park and Ruston," Knight said.
He said he knows a lot of people will get plenty of use from the enclosed pavilion.
Schram said this project has allowed the students to connect with the people of Ruston more than projects have in the past. He also said previous projects were designed for specific groups of people but this one can be used by anyone who attends the park.
"It is a great opportunity to help and interact with the community," Schram said. "We are getting to learn a lot about the people of Ruston and how they view the town."
Puljak said this is a win-win project.
"The students get to leave a legacy here and Ruston is a recipient of that hard work