HIGH POINT, N.C., April 28, 2015 – It started out as a class project for High Point University students and turned into a campaign to give back to West End Ministries, a nonprofit organization that gives much to the people of High Point – emergency assistance, childcare, life skills education, a shelter for women and more.
HPU interior design students and the Office of Security recently donated a brand new lock and key system to the organization. At the end of this semester, the Board of Stewards from HPU are expected to donate $6,000 for a security monitoring system to be installed at West End.
“Words cannot express how much this means to us to go from countless keys to just two,” says Chris Gillespie, executive director of West End Ministries. “This makes our building a lot more secure, and we will be better able to serve our clients. We are grateful to HPU for their help and generosity.”
It all began with students in an interior design service learning class. Along with learning about building inspection and safety codes, the class pledged to assist West End Ministries throughout their studies.
When the HPU interior design students began this process, they discovered that West End had no existing blueprints. Their first assignment was to map every square inch and create blue prints.
Next, they studied accessibility and safety issues. The large key ring with keys for different doors was inconvenient for staff at West End, so they added it to their list of things to improve. A security monitoring system was also added to the list so leaders could monitor the property at all times.
“It was rewarding to see all different facets of the university come together,” says HPU senior Megan Muir, who has spearheaded much of the project. “We found out that the biggest thing they really needed at West End is to feel safe with a security and locking system. I am so grateful that with the help of HPU and the Board of Stewards we were able to make the first step in improving West End.”
The list of improvements they’d like to make to the property continues. It includes an elevator so individuals with disabilities can have access to the entire facility. Students will continue fundraising, and another service learning class in the future may also focus on West End.