Michigan State University Contributes to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

This article originally appeared on KeepingtheCastle.com.

Volunteers at the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in Holt, Michigan prepare the site for landscaping.

Volunteers at the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in Holt, Michigan prepare the site for landscaping.

At the site of ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in Holt yesterday, students from Michigan State University had a special opportunity to apply their skills, learn on the job and and contribute to a unique community effort.

MSU is one of the primary partners in the project, the end result of which is a brand-new home for the Nickless family. In addition to providing basic resources like food and trash cans, MSU heads the landscaping team through its School of Planning, Design and Construction (SPDC).

The SPDC has been working in close collaboration with Lansing-based builder Mayberry Homes to put together the landscaping around the house. Pat Crawford, PhD, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, was tasked to coordinate the efforts of the specialty volunteer teams from the SPDC.

Landscape Architecture Design Team

I talked with Pat Crawford at the site yesterday. The team has been working on the landscape design since last week, and have been assisting in its installation since yesterday. This part of the home makeover was expected to take about 30 hours and be finished by noon today, Thursday.

While the details of the landscaping project are to be part of the big surprise on Friday, Pat did allow us a peek into the design process:

“For the design concept, we worked with the art director out of California for the show. What we did was we came up with some initial concepts. She would give us hints. She would say, ‘this is important. I need to make sure and take care of this kind of thing.’ So we just trusted her and went, ‘OK, that’s important and we want to make sure we allow for certain kinds of walkways and play areas, things like that.'”

In addition to Pat, there are three student volunteers in the Landscape Architecture Design Team. Erik Jones, Sarah Huddas and Danny Bulemore are all in their 5th year of studies in Landscape Architecture. Though their hours at the site do not count toward any academic requirement, it is a unique experience that they’ve gained during this fast-paced week.

“Besides using what we’ve been learning in school and being able to help this family out,” said Danny, “this is also some really good real world experience that we’re gonna do, that we’re gonna get before we even leave school. So we can match the two and make some connections there.”

MSU’s Landscape Architecture Design Team: (from left) students Danny Bulemore, Sarah Huddas and Erik Jones; and team leader and faculty member Dr. Pat Crawford

MSU’s Landscape Architecture Design Team: (from left) students Danny Bulemore, Sarah Huddas and Erik Jones; and team leader and faculty member Dr. Pat Crawford

Other MSU Teams

Teams from MSU have also been involved in other aspects of the makeover. The Construction Management Cobra Team, led by Dr. Tariq Abdelhamid, has been providing assistance to Mayberry Homes.

The SPDC Interior Design Move?in Night Team, led by Dr. April Allen, is working this Thursday night to help set up the home’s furnishings under the direction of the Extreme Makeover Design Team.

The All School – SPDC Spectator Team, led by Dr. Zenia Kotval and student team leader Lindsay Stolkey. The team’s banner reads “106 hours, 4 majors, 1 school.”

Thanks to Dr. Pat Crawford and the Landscape Architecture Design Team for giving the time for this interview. images from personal collection.