Posted: May 7, 2013 3:20 PM by Beth Saboe
Updated: May 7, 2013 3:42 PM
BOZEMAN - She is now officially a graduate of the Montana State University School of Architecture, but for the past four months, Beth Schmiesing has worked around the clock, designing a building for a non-profit over 400 miles away.
"It's pretty standard to work 8 to 5. It's our job and then you go to classes in between, then come back, keep working, pretend to go to dinner, keep working, don't sleep," Schmiesing said.
She and other students have been busy designing a new multi-million dollar building for the Sidney Boys & Girls Club, which is in dire need of a new facility. Workers and their families are flocking to the Bakken boom and the Sidney Boys & Girls club is struggling to accommodate the increase in kids.
The MSU students are getting this hands-on experience thanks to MSU's Community Design Center.
"We take fourth year students and go out into the communities of Montana and look for projects where we can engage the students with community partners," Professor Tom McNab said.
The design center provides architectural services to groups that need them but can't afford them. The students get to work with actual clients on a real project, gaining knowledge that can't be taught in a classroom.
"This project was so different, because it is real, it's happening. I think that's why this class can be so excited about what they're doing and why all of us are so excited about it, because it's real," Schmiesing said.
The Sidney Boys & Girls Club is looking to build a 20,000 square foot facility to better serve the growing number of oil field workers and their families who are moving to the area. The non-profit welcomed the help from MSU.
"I think they did an amazing job. It's incredible how much they listened to what we saying and those things, some of it I wasn't even aware I was expressing and put that detail into the design," Boys & Girls Club Executive Director Sarah Sifers said.
MSU's Community Design Center has now reached nearly every part of Montana in its 37 years.
"We love to get in these communities. We oftentimes are the outreach for the university in these areas and meet people that say, ‘You're from MSU. It's so great to have you here,'" McNab said.