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Morrisville State College Students Exhibit Homeless Shelters at Stone Quarry Hill Art Park in Cazenovia

MORRISVILLE, N.Y.—They stand exalted—some unique, others simple, yet practical.

Regardless of appearance, the homemade shelters constructed by Morrisville State College students all convey the same message—homelessness exists.

It’s a topic that has become familiar to students in the college’s Architectural Studies and Design and Landscape Architectural Studies programs and it is being conveyed in an exhibit on display now through the end of March in the Winner Gallery at the Stone Quarry Hill Art Park in Cazenovia.

The work of 35 students is featured in the exhibit, which is free and open to the public. The shelters were created for a class project which addressed homelessness and the architecture of shelter.

The plight of the homeless took on an added significance for students this year in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the devastating earthquakes in Asia which left thousands of people without homes, showing them that anyone can be a victim of homelessness.

The objective of the project was for students to design an architecturally pleasing shelter that addressed the issues of social responsibility and leadership. Teams researched rural homelessness before they built their shelters.

Staying within a specific budget, teams were tasked to build a shelter that was habitable, portable, resistant to moisture and cold, provided light and ventilation to the interior, and was aesthetically pleasing.

This year’s greatest challenge was staying within the $75 budget due to the rising cost of wood and supplies after Hurricane Katrina.

Some students used donated and recycled materials to construct their shelters; others used items they found.

Frank Renner, of Madison, N.Y. and his teammates, Walter Budden, of New York, N.Y., and Aaron Lehman, of Alfred Station, N.Y., built a structure shaped like a dog sled, while Greg Oliver, of Canastota, N.Y., and his teammates, Julio Torres, of Bronx, N.Y., and Ryan Weigand, of Burlington, Vt., had an innovative design which resembled a snail shell, covered with brown tarp and lined with fiberglass insulation and foam.

Stone Quarry Hill Art Park is a mix of walking trails, open meadows and outdoor sculpture exhibits. The park is located on Stone Quarry Road off of Route 20, just east of the village of Cazenovia.

For more information about the students’ projects or the exhibit, call 315-684-6281.

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.