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PSU students build outdoor classroom for elementary school

May 11, 2012 12:00AM

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Left to Right: Andy Gottlob, George Nettels Elementary School principal; Drew Schreiner; Taylor Fawcett; Ryan Hintze; Mitch Kerr; and Gina Pinamonti, past president George Nettels PTO.

Four Pittsburg State University construction seniors will never forget the day they turned in their final project, and neither will hundreds of elementary school students in Pittsburg.

That’s because unlike a normal term paper or class project, Taylor Fawcett, Ryan Hintze, Mitch Kerr and Drew Schreiner, were tasked with planning, organizing and constructing a 30’ x 30’ open-air outdoor classroom.

“Every year we ask the students in our Senior Project course to create a project that benefits the community and encapsulates the skills they’ve learned throughout their academic career,” said Randall Timi, professor for construction management and construction engineering technology.

“All of the planning, scheduling and construction work was completed by Pitt State students from the College of Technology. It’s a great way for our students to give back to the community that embraces them during their time at Pittsburg State.”

Funding for the project was provided by the elementary students’ parents and grandparents, as well as local businesses.

“This is a fantastic project that highlights an important partnership between USD 250 and Pittsburg State University,” Andy Gottlob, George Nettels Elementary School principal said. “I think it’s wonderful to see the university students working so hard on a project that will benefit kids who will one day follow in their footsteps.”

Gina Pinamonti, past president of the George Nettels PTO, said the students learned a lot watching the PSU students work on the structure and even came to know them by name.

Gottlob said the school will use the structure in a variety of ways, and he hopes the community will, as well.

“We see this as something that can be used by everybody,” he said. “We’ll use it for various functions, and if there is a community group that can benefit from it, we hope they feel free to use it.”

The seniors unveiled their outdoor classroom as the students of George Nettels Elementary School cheered during a special ribbon cutting ceremony on May 11.

©2012 Pittsburg State University