This time last year I was just finishing up a three month process of researching schools. A subject that, to be honest, has never interested me. I guess, on some level, I’ve always understood that schools are important, but I could have never anticipated the piles of research, hours of reading and the depth of knowledge that existed, centered around one topic: schools and their impact on community.
Today I took a little road trip to St. Cloud to take a tour of St. Cloud Tech High School. You’ll remember, I wrote a post about the school back in February as I was concerned about the school district’s decision to vacate the building in favor of building a new school on the south edge of town.
Well, the referendum to fund construction of a new school was defeated last November. I was interviewed by Kevin Allenspach at the St. Cloud Times regarding my thoughts on the school and its location, read that here. Since the article I’ve been lucky enough to connect with many people who share my concern for the school, and a couple of us got together today to take a tour of the building. I’ll expound upon my tour in a later post – but in the meantime here is a collection of my Snapchats from the day!
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Stay tuned for more updates!
The other day I was wondering to myself, what makes the St. Cloud “metro” area different than the Twin Cities, aside from the obvious size difference. I think that one of St. Cloud’s great qualities is how it changes from edge to edge – it has its historic downtown, paying homage to the city’s beginnings, a commercial district with the more familiar car-oriented layout surrounded by suburban-esque residential development and, at its peripheries, rural expanses of farm land and natural amenities. A person can experience a little bit of everything in the greater St. Cloud area. My parents’ house is located on 10 acres of land against the backdrop of a pond, home to loons and wood-ducks, and yet every day I went to high school at the center of town.
It’s hard to believe that it is already December and we’re wrapping up 2014. I feel like it was just yesterday that the year started. This year ends on a bit of a somber note for me, personally, as I lost both of my grandmothers this past November. I’ve been lucky enough to have them for such a large part of my life. I truly feel fortunate to have had the time to learn about them and get to know what incredible lives they led. While this has been a difficult time for me and my family, I’ve noticed that the loss of loved ones affects us all in very different ways. I’ve spent time thinking about the person I have become, the person I want to be and all the things and people that have played a role in getting me to this point. With that, I realized, more so than ever before, the impact my Grandma McKenzie had on the adult I’ve become. Now that she is gone, I wonder if she ever knew how important she was to me and how thankful I am to have had her as a strong female role model. In her honor, I’d like to take a break from my normal blog topics and share with you some life lessons I learned from my Grandma McKenzie.
As those of you who know me personally are aware, my grandmother, Beverly VanderEyk, passed away on Sunday. My grandma holds a special place in my heart; she was a kind and loving woman who always had a smile on her face when I walked through the door. Grandma was there with me during some of the most important moments in my life. She was there to cradle me when I was baptized, there to see me off to prom, there to celebrate birthdays, holidays, graduations and the purchase of my first home. One of my favorite moments was showing her a home design I drew for a project in school while studying for my Associate’s degree. I would later receive an award for the floor plan and the home was constructed just a few short blocks from where my grandma lived. I was so proud to bring her to that house and show her my little floor plan had become a reality. It’s difficult to imagine a world without my grandma; I’m still struggling to comprehend it. I decided to dedicate November’s blog post to Grandma Bev and write a little bit about the house my dad grew up in… the house I spent many a Christmases, Thanksgivings and Easters in… the house that my grandma called home.
Photo taken by Charlie Goering of the Paramount Theater in Downtown St. Cloud, Minnesota
Sometimes people ask me why I like architecture so much. Honestly, I don’t know the answer. It’s some kind of weird obsession that started before I can remember. One of my first memorable interactions with architecture was with the Paramount Theater in St. Cloud, Minnesota. The Paramount marque stands out among the buildings on West Saint Germain Street in downtown St. Cloud. Something about that building makes me feel like I’m home.
Photograph taken of my Parent’s back yard view in Clear Lake, Minnesota.
I’m sure you’re wondering why I haven’t posted recently. The answer has two aspects to it (1) my typically busy schedule has been excessively busy as of late and (2) at the most inopportune time I am experiencing major computer issues.