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Students design hospital lounge

July 13, 2017

Nagel Middle School design challengeThrough a partnership with Mercy Health - Anderson Hospital, seventh-grade students at Nagel Middle School (Forest Hills School District) have the opportunity for hands-on learning in interior design. For the past four years, students have helped design Mercy’s front parking lot, intensive care unit waiting area, dining area and atrium lobby.  In 2017, students used their design, math and technology skills to tackle designing the new Family Birth Center lounge.

“This opportunity allows students to have a hands-on STEM [science, technology, engineering, math] experience and see how something they learn in the classroom has real-world career applications,” said Scot T. Prebles, Forest Hills superintendent. “This experience prepares students for careers and teaches them how to meet client needs within parameters of structural limitations.”

Kelly Dames, Mercy interior design/project manager, and Aruna Chidambaram, architect, met with students in the fall to share important factors for the students to consider when designing the lounge such as accommodating the needs of both adults and children and creating an aesthetically-pleasing, comfortable and clean environment.

After months of planning, Nagel Middle School students presented their designs to a panel of judges consisting of Dames; Prebles; Steve Feagins, M.D., vice president of medical affairs at Anderson Hospital; and Michelle Hargis, Total Quality Logistics foundation director.

Picture of winning designsJudged on feasibility, creativity, layout, meeting the stated criteria and ability to create a family-friendly design, two student groups tied for Overall Winning Design honors and their design will be used as Mercy creates the new lounge. Students will also cut the ribbon during the opening ceremonies for the lounge and receive an architectural drafting kit for use in their future design careers. Those students are Brooke Heis, Samantha Colglazier, Elissa Ward, Bennett Albanese, Brayden Dostal, George Horton and Jon Beauchamp.  

“We look forward to this design competition every year,” said Feagins.  “It is great fun to watch students’ spark of creativity turn into a fairly detailed and sophisticated design. One or more of the winning students’ ideas find their way into the real project.”

Several Nagel students also earned special design awards. 

Chloe Overbeek and Madilyn Schilling earned the Best Decision Support Concept award for their creative use of tape and colors in “way-finding” and including a mini theatre for children, a work area with standing tables and a menu for a food bar. 

Kennedy Coldiron and Margaret Tegtmeyer, received the Best Use of Space award for designing an interior, two-level tree house complete with open views for children and a “tree of life” theme.  Their flexible and adaptable design also included a fish tank and a charging station in a kitchen area.

Annaleigh Hutchinson, Regan Jordan and Isabella Montemore were honored with the Best Art and Efficient Design award for creating a detailed design with an original mural.  In addition, the students conducted a market research survey on color palettes.

Jennifer Fries and Mackenzie McGregor were awarded Best Creativity and Use of Structures for designing a living room concept that included logo pillows and fish tanks encircling structural columns.