“Free” is Our Favorite Word

Re-purposing an old utility pole? For free?? Sign us up!Several members of Small Town Studio traveled to Topeka last week to visit with Westar Energy’s Green Team at their Tecumseh Energy Plant. The Green Team is known for taking on environmental projects across campus, as well as donating materials such as old utility poles to students working on educational projects. Lucky for us, we’re students! And we’re working on an educational project!

We spoke with Ben Postlethwait about what types of materials we might be able to use in the pavilion construction. He was extremely helpful in pointing out what they had in stock, including utility poles of various sizes, miscellaneous lumber, and steel angle iron. Even better is the fact that we can have a limited number of materials for free. That is great news considering we’re working on a *cough* student budget.

Checking out some of the old utility poles in the lot… Which ones look like columns to you? Photo Credit: Kelsey Lind

Heading out to the materials lot.

Heading out to the materials lot.

Ben Postlethwait of Westar's Green Team, explaining some of the possible uses of the materials available to us.

Ben Postlethwait (center, white helmet) of Westar’s Green Team, explaining some of the possible uses of the materials available to us.

We plan to use eight utility poles for the vertical columns in our structure and hopefully we will be able to use some of the other lumber for smaller projects like benches or railings.

It is so encouraging to know that there are other professionals in the field that value sustainable design and community service work. We look forward to working with Westar in the coming weeks, as they have offered to set the utility poles for us on site! Thank you Ben and the Green Team for all of your help!

This entry was published on October 7, 2014 at 6:22 PM. It’s filed under Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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