Third-year students chose the local organization as a case study for their Project Management class under the direction of Professor Patrick Redko.
The class of 13 students formed a team called Upward Design. They researched Windsor Youth Centre and its needs moving forward to its new larger location a block away from its current location.
"As Interior Design students majoring in space design, Upward Design Team put their skills and ideas together to propose a comprehensive plan for WYC to maximize the use of their new building," said Redko. "The plan includes scaled floor plans with furniture layouts, ideas for optimal storage, living and work spaces, energy and cost saving solutions, and a strategic plan for moving all of their existing belongings to the new location."
Redko said the team also approached several St. Clair College departments and local businesses to join in the project by donating to the plan. This includes St. Clair's Woodworking students, who will help constructing items such as organization shelving units, and Sherwin Williams, which will be donating paint for the new space.
"In addition, each member of the class made a cash donation and collectively purchased several items in high demand for WYC," said Redko. "While donating their efforts, ideas and resources, the class learned about scheduling, timekeeping, budgeting, furniture research, data collection, soliciting, presentation techniques and teamwork."
The students presented their design plan to WYC volunteer Charles Janisse on campus Monday afternoon. His happy reaction was summed up in just three words:
"Wow, I'm impressed," Janisse told the students following the presentation. "I'm overwhelmed by the plan…It's positive and uplifting. It's a piece of art. Thank you so much."
Project Manager Alex Clarke said the experience helped prepare her and her fellow classmates on the design team realize just how much time and effort goes into just one project. She added that it was an uplifting experience to be able to help a community organization in need.
"It was really heartwarming to see Charles so excited about it because we've worked so hard on this and spent so many hours on it, so it was nice to see him appreciate it so much," said Clarke. She said many don't realize how important it is to properly design a space in order to ensure operations run smoothly and efficiently.
"The point of being an interior designer is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public and to make sure that everyone in the building is safe," said Clarke. "And in this case it's youth. They're young kids going in to the Windsor Youth Centre, so they have to be protected."
The Windsor Youth Centre serves the basic and immediate needs of homeless and at-risk youth in a safe and friendly atmosphere with the aim to foster positive change and growth.
"St. Clair College is a valuable asset to our community and the WYC is honoured to be chosen by this year's Project Management class as a partner," said WYC co-founder and director Tamara Kowalska. "Through this kind of practical education, we are helping to build a solid future."
The following donors helped make this project a success: Sherwin Williams, Jack at Illusions Painting Service, St. Clair College Woodworking Dept., St. Clair College Admissions Dept., St. Clair College Student Council, St. Clair College Recruitment and Marketing Department, Jarmina Avila, Merna Bollis, Alexandra Clarke, Rebecca Colautti, Jennica Gabales, Claire Huang, Yunrog Lee, Sara Matton, Chris Micsa, Andrea Santamaria, April Umbenhower, Sylvia Vander Schee, Eva Vidmar and Patrick Redko.