Interior design majors will redesign and renovate a local Abilene residence using their talents, skills and support from local businesses.
Students have named this service venture “Project Merge,” in hopes of strengthening the bond between ACU and the Abilene community. The project is a yearlong effort but the actual renovation will take place in April.
Last year, a senior who saw a need in the community and a need for a service project in the interior design department started Project Merge. This year students will continue the initiative with Morgan Hudson, senior interior design major from Abilene, as the team leader.
“This year we want to make it a hub or center for the whole community to fellowship,” Hudson said. “We get to use what we’ve learned in the classroom to give something back, but this way [the residents] will be paying it forward giving something to the community.”
Brandon Young, assistant professor in the Department of Art and Design, is the faculty advisor for Project Merge. He said the project is still in its infancy stage, being only its second year.
“Part of the challenge is figuring out our initiative with the community at large-not just giving something away, but to be an encouragement to people we’re working with so they may encourage others,” Young said.
Project Merge is completely driven by donations. This year the leadership team, which consists of three senior and three junior interior design majors, is hoping to raise around $15,000. They will renovate everything from plumbing and electric to paint and furniture.
The leadership team has been searching for the right family since the beginning of this semester. The selection process involves meeting several families in their homes first, then narrowing it down to one family.
They are hoping for around 150 volunteers to help between Friday and Saturday the weekend of the renovation.
“We want the entire student body or whoever can help involved,” Hudson said.
The renovation process will start by taking everything out of the house and cleaning it top to bottom. Then they begin with plumbing and electricity, finishing with paint and other cosmetic needs. The students head up all of the work, utilizing skills they are learning in their interior design classes.
“Project Merge is most successful as a student-led initiative,” Young said.
If anyone is interesting in getting involved by volunteering or donating furniture, contact Morgan Hudson at email@example.com.