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MSU helps with 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition' in Lansing

September 21, 2008

Interior design sophomore Masumi Amin, far left, and mechanical engineering senior Ravi Jadia, right, participate with about 585 people in a volunteers’ rally for “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” at St. John Catholic Student Parish.

Photo by Jeana-Dee Allen | The State News

MSU has taken a leading role in planning construction and supplying volunteers as the ABC TV show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” is making its way to Lansing this week.

MSU and Mayberry Homes, the company building the house, are partners on the project. MSU Director of Media Communications Kent Cassella said there’s been a large response from the MSU community wanting to help.

“I think it’s a lot of the traditions we have here at Michigan State,” Cassella said about the excitement level. “A lot of our programs are very impactful, from research to work that we do in the community.

“It’s all about making a difference and changing lives. It just happened to fall right in line with our role.”

“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” is once again traveling across the country this season, building homes for needy families. The show’s host, Ty Pennington, and his team take a family’s home and remodel, or demolish and completely rebuild the home.

The show receives 1,500 applications per day and about 10,000 applications per week, Mayberry Homes President Karen Schroeder said.

Construction on the home is scheduled to begin Friday, after the selected family is announced, and will take a week, according to the company’s Web site.

She said community response to help with construction has been so massive that Mayberry Homes’ Web site states the company no longer needs volunteers.

“Oh my gosh, it’s overwhelming,” Schroeder said. “I could have hired a full-time person to answer the phones and e-mails that have come in.”

Jen Lindberg, an interior design senior, is one of the students from MSU volunteering on the project. She said the School of Planning, Design & Construction is helping with the house.

“I got an e-mail and I always thought it would be an amazing opportunity to be a part of,” Lindberg said.

The landscape design program will do the landscape design and the construction management team will be working as assistant supervisors on the project.

There’s also going to be one recognizable face entertaining the volunteers and spectators.

“I’m pretty sure Sparty’s gonna come,” Schroeder said.

Alexandra Przybyla, an advertising senior, began working for public relations firm Kolt Communications Inc. and helping Mayberry Homes with the project a few weeks ago. She said having the project come to Lansing has been a great learning experience.

“It’s a huge project and we’re lucky enough to be involved in it,” Przybyla said.

The university is setting up a Web site at news.msu.edu where students can find more information, Cassella said. He said the site should be up and operational in the next few days.

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