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    Student design, renovation of Seaton Hall saves K-State $1.5 million

    By Matthew Peterworth
    Feb 1, '05 7:41 PM EST

    Student design, renovation of Seaton Hall saves K-State $1.5 million

    Published on Tuesday, January 18, 2005  
    Kansas State Collegian

    Architecture students can be thanked for the two new classrooms and expanded Pierce Commons area in Seaton Hall.

    The lower level of Seaton was renovated by fifth-year architecture students as part of their studio project.

    The student project came about because there was a need for additional classrooms yet not enough money to contract the renovation to outside companies.

    James Jones, former department head, suggested the possibility of a design-build project. Design-build means that the students first design the renovations and then construct it themselves.

    Vladimir Krstic, professor of architecture, and Chris Spaw, architecture instructor, volunteered their fifth-year studio classes to take the project.

    Krstic said that over the past three semesters, 40 students donated 12,000 hours to the design and completion of the project. In labor costs alone, Krstic estimates that they saved the university $400,000.

    Money was also saved by using recycled materials. Old chalkboards from the recently demolished Denison Hall were used in the floor and walls of Pierce Commons. Old doors were also recycled from Denison to make the four oversized doors leading into the new classrooms. Reusing these two materials saved another $10,000.

    The 40 students did virtually all of the work, under supervision when necessary, including the electrical and fire alarm wiring.

    Ryan Deveney, fifth-year architecture student in Krstic's studio, said that what he got out of this was the opportunity to work with contractors on the project. This was part of the learning experience Krstic stressed with this project: that the students be exposed to aspects of the design-build process to which they would not otherwise have been exposed.

    The immediate benefactors of the renovation are first-year architecture students. Lindsey Devries, who has class in one of the new studio rooms, likes the space because it was designed and built by upperclassmen.

    The new Pierce Commons area also provides a much-needed public space for the College of Architecture, Planning and Design.

    Construction started in May 2004 and was completed in December 2004. Krstic said if this project had been contracted out, it would have cost almost $2 million. However, in collaboration with students in his and Shaw's design studios, they were able to complete it for about a quarter of the cost, saving roughly $1.5 million.

    Pictures will be posted soon.

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