HPU students design writing center

Jan. 13, 2014 @ 05:51 PM

Three High Point University interior design students will spend their Martin Luther King Jr. Day renovating the school’s community writing center.
Groups of students in the service learning Contract Design class were challenged with creating an inviting, functional and fun space for the after-school program that helps students with their reading and writing skills.
The team of Ashely Tizard, Caroline Goree and Catherine Ruvolo won the competition with their “The Write Way” design.
“I love catchy fun puns in titles and find it is very easy to remember the name if it involves a catchy phrase,” Goree said. “While we were coming up with a way to promote our design, I came up with ‘The Write Way.’ The space provides the children a place to do homework, and work on skills such as reading and writing. Coming home after school and getting your homework done is the right way to do things as a student. The Community Writing Center promotes and reenforces these ideas. Changing the word from ‘right’ to ‘write’ allows outsiders to understand this center is being used to help enhance the children writing abilities.”
The team said its design focuses on cultivating the children’s innate intelligence, celebrating their talents and boosting their self-esteem by dividing the center into three separate spaces, the group activity room, the celebration station and the tutor room.
The students have ordered the supplies that they will need for the renovation using an internal HPU grant for $10,000 and will start work on Jan. 20, the school’s MLK Day of Service.
Jane Nichols, Interior Design department chairwoman, said this project has been a great experience for students.
“(The students) had to work with $10,000 which is not a lot of money to renovate an entire center,” Nichols said. “They went through every step that they’d have to for a commercial contract. They met with administrators, took pictures and measurements and spoke with the counselors, volunteers and the children that use (the center).”
Goree said making the designs helped fine tune her skills she will need for her career.
“This experience has been very helpful in preparing me for a career in interior design, because it has shown how much research goes into each decision a designer makes,” she said. “It also showed us how important it is to listen to what the client wants. In the end it is their opinion that matters most.”
The different groups presented their projects and the winning design was chosen by Community Writing Center organizers, volunteers and students.
“We thought that the designs were outstanding and were particularly impressed by the professional quality of the students’ work,” said Cara Kozma, assistant professor of English and co-founder of the Community Writing Center. “It was a difficult decision but the winning design stood out because of special details, like fun bouncing chairs and a ‘celebration station’ area, that were included to appeal to the young children the Community Writing Center serves.”
The center, a ranch-style house located at 1307 Guyer St., is run by the Youth Network and used by Christ United Methodist Church and the community.
jhowse@hpe.com | 888-3617