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Baylor Students Present Design Ideas to Waco Wellness Center

Sophomore interior design students from Baylor University recently presented design ideas to the Waco Family Health Center’s wellness center on as part of a service-learning project that uses interior design as a way to promote well-being.

“Our assignment was to create two design plans – one budget-friendly and one more high-end – for the redesign of this community building,” said Katey Bourget, a student in group four from Hebron, Maine. “Our goal is to provide a vision for the center so that they can draw upon ideas from all the groups and integrate our design plans. It is a wonderful experience to serve the community in this way.”

After a preliminary meeting with the wellness center staff, each of the seven teams developed two design plans. Students displayed poster presentations, material samples and booklets of their ideas.

“Our very talented sophomore students did a fantastic job developing thoughtful design solutions for the family health clinic wellness center,” said Debra Harris, Ph.D., associate professor of interior design. “The service-learning project was a great opportunity for the students to consider the impact of interior design on the built environment and the social and physical outcomes for the patient population.”

“The project was focused on nutrition education and physical fitness to improve outcomes from the surrounding community. Learning from individuals within the health care system provided insight and understanding of the project and goals,” Harris said.

Each group focused on the wellness center’s mission to make the building more user-friendly, and to redesign the community kitchen for classes.

“This experience was so exciting for me because it was the first time that what I was designing could possibly make a difference in someone's life,” said Madeline Dietze, a member of group seven from Texarkana, Texas. “Knowing that my Baylor education is being used to serve the community through projects such as these is incredibly rewarding.”

The space to be renovated serves as a gym, community kitchen, break room, and conference room. The center’s goal is to integrate concepts from local gyms, food pantries, cooking courses, fitness classes and other health centers to create an inviting and resourceful facility.

“We’ve been thrilled and anticipating this presentation and conversation since we were first put in contact with Debra, Michelle (Brown) and these students,” said Jackson Griggs, M.D., associate program director of the Waco Family Health Center. “Debra knew that if she could get her design students in front of us, it would seed our imagination for what is possible here. Going forward, our team will explore what funding opportunities are available for interior redesign of the wellness center to make it more patient-centric and to improve the user experience.”

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