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University Relations

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May 19, 2005
Contact: Kyle Wilson, (913) 515-4135, or Nils Gore, (785) 864-4102.

Events Friday at Lawrence school focus on KU architecture students' renovation

LAWRENCE -- Nineteen University of Kansas seniors in the School of Architecture and Urban Design completed their spring Studio 401 project of renovating the exterior north courtyard commons area at West Junior High School.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the redesigned space will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 20, at the school, 2700 Harvard Road. From 9 to 10:30 a.m. Studio 401 students will discuss their project at the school.

Studio 401 is a nonprofit design studio focused on projects to benefit the Lawrence community. Nils Gore, assistant professor of architecture and urban design, teaches the course and directs the program in which students work as a team designing, building and installing a project for clients within an established budget.

The junior high school and Lawrence USD 497 contacted Studio 401 based on the quality of work done two years ago by Gore's KU students for a lighting project at Hillcrest Elementary School.

This year's project was enhanced considerably when Venteak, a Miami, Fla., exotic hardwood flooring and decking supplier, donated enough ipé (Brazilian walnut) to construct the students' courtyard design. Originally the total project budget was $10,000, including $5,000 raised by the WJHS student council matched by $5,000 from the school district. Studio 401 estimated the project, as upgraded with the Venteak hardwoods, would cost more than $20,000, not including labor.

The existing school courtyard had deteriorating sidewalk areas, overgrown and diseased pear trees, bland landscaping, problems with water standing after rains and inadequate seating for students who wanted to gather after lunch.

Studio 401 students listened to the WJHS complaints and requests, then addressed them by focusing on weather-resistant multilevel decking/seating areas, landscaping features that alternate paving and planting areas to add color and drainage control, and wider sidewalks to handle more pedestrian traffic. Two groups of stepped benches create more inviting outdoor activity and assembly areas. A pair of trellis structures planted with ivy in front of the school's brick walls add vertical landscaping elements. Other plantings there include holly, boxwood, ornamental grasses and a white-flowering crab-apple tree. The trellises are constructed of multiple dimensions of steel rebar, the steel rods with ridges used to reinforce concrete construction, left uncoated to weather and blend with the brick. Diamond Everly Roofing, Home Depot and Sunrise Garden Center, all in Lawrence, helped with building and landscaping materials for the project.

A major factor in the longevity of the project came from Venteak, a company that specializes in exotic hardwoods from its plantations and factories in Venezuela. Its products include teak, Caribbean koa, ipé and jatoba (Brazilian cherry). Venteak is completing its Forest Stewardship Council standards for its teak plantations and handles the rest of its products based according to the council's sustainable, environmentally friendly forestry practices. Venteak has donated materials for selected community betterment projects nationwide.

Studio 401 students, their hometowns, parents and high schools (when available) are:

From Halstead
Tyson Robert Pyle, son of Kevin and Mary Jo Pyle; Halstead High School.

From Olathe
Elizabeth Barreto.

From Overland Park
Katrina Loraine Vandeputte, daughter of Gregory and Paulene Vandeputte; Shawnee Mission North High School.
Matthew Lee Wild, son of Greg and Debra Wild; Blue Valley High School.

From Leavenworth
Diann Amanda Mroszczak, daughter of John and Amanda Mroszczak; Immaculata High School.

From Emporia
Samuel Nicholas Shepherd; Emporia Senior High School.

From Wichita
Mai Truc Nguyen, daughter of Mai Nguyen; Bishop Carroll High School.

From Phoenix
Emily Katherine Reece, daughter of Richard and Sonya Reece; Parkway West High School, Ballwin, Mo.

From Buffalo Grove
Eric R. Closson, son of Randi Closson; Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, Ill.

From Freeburg
Jennifer Leigh Borton, daughter of C. Leonard and Carolyn Borton; Freeburg High School.

From Northbrook
George Manis, son of Angelo and Athanasia Manis; Loyola Academy, Wilmette, Ill.

From Clayton
Jessica Grace Deem, daughter of David and Marjorie Deem; Clayton High School.

From Columbia
Jason D. Hartman, son of Doug Hartman; Hickman High School.

From Rolla
Brian Scott Arnold, son of Thomas and Jo Arnold; Rolla Senior High School.

From St. Louis
Daniel Francis Bedard, son of Steve and Jane Bedard; St. Louis University High School.
Kevin Michael Gates, son of Tom and Pat Gates; St. Louis University High School.

From Washington
Amanda N. Noelke, daughter of Carl Noelke; St. Francis Borgia Regional High School.

From Wildwood
Allison Dubois Johnson, daughter of Randall and Rita Johnson; Eureka High School, Eureka, Mo.
Kyle Allyn Wilson, son of Holly Wilson; Lafayette High School, Ballwin, Mo.


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