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K-State Today

December 2, 2016

Associated General Contractors Student Chapter gives back to Manhattan community

Submitted by Frank Sandoval

Associated General Contractors Student Chapter built the Story Store

The Kansas State University Associated General Contractors Student Chapter, in the architectural engineering and construction science department, assisted the history department's Chapman Center for Rural Studies with the design and construction of a Story Store recording booth for "Going Home: Hidden Histories of the Flint Hills." The exhibit is currently on display at the Flint Hills Discovery Center through Jan. 8, 2017.

Bonnie Lynn-Sherow, associate professor of history and director of the Chapman Center for Rural Studies, said the exhibition represents the efforts of talented undergraduate students who care deeply about the Flint Hills, working with the center's faculty to produce stories, images, sounds and exhibit films. The work was funded by an estate gift from the late Mark Chapman, K-State alumnus who earned a bachelor's degree in history and political science.

The Story Store is modeled after the general store in Volland, Kansas, one of the communities in the exhibit. The Flint Hills Discovery Center partnered with nationally recognized StoryCorps, whose mission is "to preserve and share humanity's stories in order to build connections between people, and create a more just and compassionate world."

The intent is to record for posterity small town life remembrances of current and former inhabitants of Flint Hills communities that have been slowly disappearing over the past century and a half. These recordings will then be added to StoryCorps' archive housed in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

The Associated General Contractors Student Chapter's collaboration with this exhibit began in July 2015. The Story Store walls and ceiling were prefabricated in spring 2015 at an off-site facility in order to fast track the two-day on-site installation at the Flint Hills Discovery Center in September 2016. The panels were constructed of steel studs and track, acoustical mineral wool insulation and hardboard panels, and included hard-wired power and lighting.

"The chapter's precision and attention to every detail is clearly seen in the quality of the building. The Story Store, nestled between other exhibits in a beautiful space, fits right in," Lynn-Sherow said. "More importantly, it does exactly what we wanted it to do — create a quiet, inviting space that was ADA accessible and appealing for families. Without the help of the chapter, we could not have been able to add this important feature to our exhibit space."

Chapter members take on at least one major project and several smaller ones each year as a way to give back to the Manhattan community.

Participating members on this project, all construction science management majors, include Phinehas Adams, Hayden Borth, Tyler Coonrod, Drew Deters, Andrew Eigsti, Matt Hastert, Jordan Heinen, Ross Henry, Branson Kocher, Doug Lazarus, Tanner Lund, Cole McDowell, Sean Mitchell, Demetri Praderio, Sam Roldan, Frank Sandoval, Nate Sterns, A.J. Wertzberger and Bryce Yohn. Chapter advisers were Ray Buyle, associate professor, and Shannon Casebeer, assistant professor, both in the architectural engineering and construction science department.