By building little at Kent, students build big in Biloxi

Caroline Laska

Kent State students can help raise money for the 2007 trip to Biloxi, Miss. from home. At the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, students and volunteers are putting the final touches on Project Playhouse this week.

Last fall, the Center for Student Involvement and Habitat for Humanity teamed up to build playhouses to raise funds for the trip. The houses, designed by Kent State interior design students, will be sold at a silent auction March 17.

“We are raising this money to help less fortunate students go to Biloxi,” said Matt Haramis, Center for Student Involvement service leader. “The money will also go toward supplies and construction in Biloxi.”

Students and Habitat for Humanity volunteers worked together to create models of the playhouses, mostly from donated materials.

“Kent asked us to help on this project, and I feel it is valuable because it builds Habitat and Kent’s relationship, and everyone works and learns along the way,” Habitat for Humanity volunteer Jeff Bluhm said.

From 20 possible designs, only two were picked to be assembled because of time and money constraints. The two that were picked are the “junkyard playhouse” and the “imaginarium.”

Small problems arose when workers realized some of the wood called for on the blueprint needed to be cut to save money.

“Some of the wood was designed to be cut very big,” Haramis said. “An architecture class redesigned some of the blueprints to make construction easier and more affordable.”

The groups plan to assemble the playhouses from 4 to 7 p.m. tomorrow and 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday. The project is extended to anyone who wants to help and isn’t afraid to get a little dirty.

“We’d be glad to have anyone help,” Haramis said. “Even if you’re just passing through the rec and want to help, just grab a hammer and go to town.”

The finished playhouses will be auctioned with other items from 5 to 7:30 p.m. March 17 in the Student Center Ballroom. Hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be served. Tickets cost $10 for students and $30 for non-students. The deadline to buy tickets is March 10. For more information, contact Haramis or Ann Gosky at (330) 672-2480.

Contact social services reporter Caroline Laska at [email protected].