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Richard Doty

Olivia Snyder

Last modified: Wednesday, November 6, 2002

Interior design students at IU pursue community service projects

Interior design students at Indiana University are applying their classroom learning throughout the community in a program that benefits such businesses and agencies as Bloomington restaurants, the YMCA, Batchelor Middle School, McCormick's Creek State Park, Bloomington Hospital, Habitat for Humanity, Bloomington Playwrights Project, WFHB radio, Middle Way House, and Girls Incorporated.

Olivia Snyder, a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design, said the sophomore, junior and senior students have been involved in community projects for several years.

"Many programs on campus have service learning components within their curriculum, but not all of those have the direct link that the interior design students are able to enjoy," she said. "Often, the work by the students constitutes the preliminary design that allows the clients to help reach their goal."

Snyder said a current project involves Bloomington restaurants. "Interior designers have to follow codes and laws in their work, and this project has the students using the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as a guide to evaluate local restaurants in such areas as parking, entrances, access routes, common areas and restrooms."

She said the students work closely on this with the Bloomington Council for Community Accessibility and are now following up with training sessions for the city on ADA assessments. Snyder this week received the Mayor's Award for her work on this project with the IU students.

Other projects in recent years for the interior design students have included:

Signage and building improvement issues for the Monroe County YMCA building improvement plan;

Design assistance for Monroe County Habitat for Humanity on a house that would incorporate alternative construction methods and materials;

Renovation of the nature center at McCormick's Creek State Park;

Renovation and remodeling of the front entrance and radiology areas at Bloomington Hospital;

Design work at the Middle Way House community room;

Design and space planning work at Batchelor Middle School, Bloomington Playwrights Project, WFHB and Girls Incorporated.

For more information on this project, contact Snyder at 812-855-0464 or