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This item originally appeared in the March 24, 2005 issue of The Tech Talk.


Staff Writer

Fifth year architecture students in their fifth years at Louisiana Tech have taken the first step in the sizable project of building a get-away bunkhouse for the Methodist Children's Home's Outdoor Wilderness Learning Center after the groundbreaking last Wednesday.

The bunkhouse will enable the Outdoor Wilderness Learning Center, or OWL Center, to function even better as it strives to provide guidance for children growing up in stressful family situations.

The bunkhouse will shelter up to 40 individuals, complete with heating and cooling capabilities and a game room and dining area. The bunkhouse will also be a source of revenue for the children's home as it will be available for other groups' use via reservation.

"The groundbreaking went well and they are ready to lay the foundation," Edward Jacobs, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, said.

Fourteen students were involved in the planning for the bunkhouse and will be in charge of every phase of the project from here on out, Karl Puljak, architecture program chair and an associate professor of architecture, said.

"The past four years we've been preparing the students for the opportunity to not only design projects, but to go out into the community and construct them," Puljak explained. "The fifth year project gets the students out of the classroom. They will be digging trenches and putting up walls.

"Architecture is a service profession. Its goal is to assist people in need and better the community."

Matt Abrams, a senior architecture major, has been reassured in his career path by the project.

"The people at the children's home are amazing," Abrams said.

Abrams is motived by his desire to be around the kids.

"We've gotten to spend time with the kids," Abrams said. "We've had lunch and played kickball with them. They've had a rough time growing up and now we get to give them a place to go and step out. It's more than a grade now."

The students hope to complete the project by or around their graduation in May.

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