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Morning Sun
  • Designers choose to “Be the Change”

  •   It doesn’t take much knowledge of interior design to know that the peeling turquoise paint and faded orange curtain in the Lakeside Elementary auditorium are not aesthetically pleasing....
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    It doesn’t take much knowledge of interior design to know that the peeling turquoise paint and faded orange curtain in the Lakeside Elementary auditorium are not aesthetically pleasing.

    It is, however, taking an entire team of Pittsburg State University design students to dream of what could be and to get the ball rolling on the project.

    Denise Bertoncino teaches interior design at Pitt State and also has a child who is a student at Lakeside, and said she had approached Courtney McCartney, the principal at Lakeside, about seeing what could be done.

    The school did have prior architectural drawings, but had not been able to raise the funds to make any ground on the project.

    Sara Marquette, a PSU student who is double majoring in interior design and construction management, said Bertoncino tasked her Studio IV and Studio II classes with developing plans and raising funds for a very real portfolio project.

    Holly Page Sagehorn also teaches interior design at PSU and said this is a great opportunity for students and the community.

    “We’re always looking for service learning projects,” she said.

    This particular one involves both juniors and seniors, with seniors and juniors in the honors program each heading up parts of the project.

    “We got together and figured out who the project managers would be,” Bertoncino said.

    Marquette said the coursework does include a number of practical projects, but this one differs because the hope is it will actually be implemented.

    “This one is real, so you can’t guess on any of it,” she said.

    Page Sagehorn said the Save Lakeside Auditorium Reception fundraising event on May 2 adds another layer of complexity.

    “This is very different because of the event associated with it,” Page Sagehorn said.

    She said the fundraising aspect is important, because the department budget is only meant to cover design supplies, and funds for the actual renovation need to be raised separately.

    Page 2 of 2 - “For the actual project, we did get a small amount from the department to cover the copies and rendering,” she said.

    While the final budget isn’t yet known, Bertoncino said the overall project cost would be in the range of $600,000, which includes heat, air, electrical, lighting and other behind-the-scene costs. She said this can be decreased by donations, gifts in kind and other assistance from the community.

    Page Sagehorn sad the hope is that the design students can give the district a significant start through the fundraising event.

    Through the overall project, the design students are learning various steps and following strict deadlines.

    For example, the rendering of the design, or adding color in a way that feels realistic, must be done by Friday and a number of boards with fabric samples and other objects that are part of the project must be done prior to the reception so the public can see what is taking place.

    Bertoncino also said the designers are writing a comprehensive set of plans that will take care of the project from start to finish, but restrictions are being kept in mind.

    “It’s very holistic,” she said. “We’re doing the whole thing from start to finish.”

    This includes breaking the plan down into phases so that initial work could begin even if full funding is not available.

    Bertoncino said any funds raised by the design students will be available for USD 250 to use on the project.

    The reception fundraiser event will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. May 2 at Parrott Bey and will feature appetizers, dessert and drinks and students will present on their work with the project.  Tickets are available at the Weede Gymnasium Ticket Office.

    Additional opportunities to give, including a silent auction, will be available that evening, and Bertoncino said anyone is welcome to make a pledge, give a gift in kind or volunteer expertise.

    “It’s a benefit for the community,” Bertoncino said. “Community-wise, it’s really positive.”
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