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Students Display Homemade Shelters Dec. 13 as Part of Homelessness Project

MORRISVILLE, N.Y.—Morrisville State College architectural studies and design, and landscape architectural studies students will get a first-hand look at the plight of homelessness as some of them sleep overnight in homemade shelters on Dec. 13.

The issue of providing basic shelter has taken on an added significance for architectural studies and design, and landscape architectural studies students this year in the aftermath of recent events like Hurricane Katrina and the devastating earthquakes in Asia which left thousands of people homeless.

Twelve teams of students will display portable shelters they designed and built as a class project that addresses the homelessness problem which exists in the architectural community. The display will be in the academic quad in front of Galbreath Hall. Students will be arranging their shelters in the quad until 3 p.m. and some plan on sleeping in them overnight. They will be available to explain their designs.

The objective of the project was to design an architecturally pleasing shelter that addresses the issues of social responsibility and leadership as members of the architectural community. Teams researched rural homelessness, then combined their research with design skills from their class to build shelters for the homeless.

For the past few years, students have taken on this challenge, designing and building low-cost shelters intended to protect an individual from the elements. Each shelter, built with a limited budget, had to be habitable and had to account for concerns such as ventilation and moisture.

The shelters, which vary in shape and size, show creativity in obtaining the architectural goals of firmness (structural stability), commodity (attention to function) and delight (beauty, formal consistency).

Morrisville State College offers 12 bachelor degrees and a wide variety of associate degrees and options. Considered to be one of the most technologically advanced colleges in the nation for its ThinkPad University program and wireless technology initiative, the college recently became the first in the nation to comprehensively replace landlines in residence halls with individual cellular phones. Morrisville State College was also chosen as one of the top five colleges in the nation for campus activities by Campus Activities magazine. The Morrisville State College Norwich Campus also offers programs in business, technologies, liberal arts/education transfer, and nursing to Chenango County area residents and employers.