Twelve interior design students from Western Kentucky University gave presentations Monday to members of the Cave City Tourism & Convention Commission, as well as members of the Cave City City Council.
The welcome center, which is on Mammoth Cave Avenue, serves as the headquarters for the local chamber of commerce, as well as a visitors’ center.
The purpose of the students’ presentations was to help the tourism commission create a design that would provide privacy when needed, such as for chamber of commerce board of directors’ meetings and office people working on projects. The students were also asked to help make information about the town and the area more accessible to visitors, which many did by designing new brochure racks.
In addition, the students were asked to create a small retail area where locally made items could be displayed and sold.
“Everybody had such good ideas,” said Jeff Lawson, president of the chamber of commerce. “It’s going to be hard to narrow it down. We thought we were getting two presentations and we got 12. We have a lot of work to do just to pick out what we want to do, but I love it. I think it’s going to be awesome.”
The WKU students were brought on board to help with the project in hopes they could provide tourism commissioners and council members with some insight.
“Young people have a lot of creative ideas and they tend to think a little bit out of the box,” said Sharon Tabor, executive director of the Cave City Convention Center. “It also made a great project for the students and it gave us a great starting point.”
The students were asked to develop designs using items that could be recycled or reused. Many of the designs presented included the use of wooden pallets, large wooden wire spools, milk crates, shutters, ladders and crumb rubber.
To help solve the privacy issue, students were asked to devise a way to separate the space for the two entities, which some did by either suggesting the installation of curtains or bi-folding doors.
“I think we could take away something from each [design],” said Mary Lou Carey, chair of the tourism commission.
A presentation she liked in particular was one utilizing three television monitors to provide information about Cave City and the local area.
Among city council members who turned out for the presentation was Seaborn Ellzey, who said he thought all of the presentations were very well done.
“Over all, [the designs] were very professional,” he said, adding he thought the students did a good job working within the parameters they were given. “Everything sounds like, since there are no structural changes to the building, interior or exterior, feasible. We will just have to wait and see.”
Councilman Gary Minor also commended the students on their presentations.
“They put in a lot of work and you can tell they spent a lot of time,” he said. “They should get some good grades out of this.”
The remodeling of the welcome center will be done by two tourism commission employees, who will do the work in between events at the convention center. Tabor anticipates the work to be done in January and February. She told the students, once the remodel is complete, she will invite them back to see what had been done.
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