A historic Pittsburg building is expecting a family oriented revamp thanks in part to a group of interior design students at PSU.
Denise Bertoncino’s Interior Design program has worked closely with Larry Fields to propose the design of a “family fun center” in Pittsburg. The family fun center will be a second life for the historic building that dates back to 1886. The new addition to downtown Pittsburg is projected to create jobs and provide a place for all ages to spend time together.
“I have been to family activity centers before with my own family, and I remembered how much fun we all had, from my cousins who were just 3 years old to my parents,” said Jerica Stahl, senior in interior design. “There was something for all of us to do, individually or all together. So after hearing Mr. Fields’ idea… I could not wait to help out and pitch ideas for the center.”
Stahl looks forward to members of neighboring communities such as Fort Scott, Liberal, and Joplin coming to Pittsburg to visit the new family center.
“I am most looking forward to seeing our ideas come to life and the type of impact they will create in the town of Pittsburg,” Stahl said. “It is something we will always be able to look back on and get to say we were a part of.”
The interior design students proposed several ideas to Fields, including plans for a restaurant with a bike up window, bungee trampolines, batting cages, an arcade, climbing walls, a rope course, an indoor eating area and outdoor patio, a parent lounge area, and much more.
“This community needs a center like this and to see it bloom and bring the community together will be great,” said Alexis Severson, senior in interior design. “I think we need this for the community because we don’t have anything for the full family to have fun in one place. I think it will be great to bring the family together and bring more activities to this city.”
Severson came up with ideas and sketches for the restaurant portion of the proposal and looks forward to Pittsburg families being able to enjoy the space for years to come.
“This is by far my favorite project I’ve done,” Severson said. “It was a full wide spectrum of different decisions we could’ve made and it was a lot of fun to think of how to make this community happier for the family!”
Members of the interior design team included Jerica Stahl, Courtney Nelson, Rachel Huffman, Kearstin Johnson, Alexis Severson, and Jaden Allen.
“I’ve got lots of ideas that the university gave me,” said Larry Fields, owner of the building. “The interior design department is wonderful. They did a great job., they’ve got good ideas, their drawings and sketches are great, (and) they even gave me some prices.”
This isn’t Fields’ first time repurposing a building downtown; he is also responsible for the renovated train depot now known as the Frisco Event Center.
“I just thought it was really neat and had such a good history (and) that it needed to be saved,” Fields said. “It has endured five American wars, two major fires and a tornado. Then it sat empty for 10-12 years… It’s been tough and endured all these things. It deserves to be restored and fixed up.”