I would guess all of us have daydreamed about what we would do with the money if we won the lottery. Here’s a true, feel-good story about a lottery winner.
Our firm designed the Social Hall and Chapel for the Notre Dame Academy in Carmel Valley. We have supported the school the past few years during their annual fundraiser, a golf tournament and dinner.
In addition to a silent auction, the school sells raffle tickets to raise money each year for some special project. Half of the money collected goes to the school and half goes to one lucky winner. In the first or second year, the winner gave his half back to the school as well, and that started a tradition of giving back some or all of the money.
Now, each year, before they draw the winning ticket, the organizers tell the story of the previous year’s “give back” to encourage (pressure?) this years winner to follow suit. The sum has become fairly substantial.
Lo and behold, who should win last year, but my partner David Pfeifer. I was so proud of him when he stepped forward and offered half of his winnings back to the school. He also stated that he was going to donate the other half to his own kids’ school—the Nazareth School in Mission Valley. Wow!!!
But the story does not end here.
David met with the Nazareth School principal and asked that the money be specifically spent as seed money for new technology upgrades to all of the classrooms. He then presented his story of the winning ticket and his gift to the other parents at the school and they stepped-up and raised all the rest of the money to complete the technology upgrades. Over this past summer, with some additional sweat equity by David and other parents, all of the upgrades were installed.
This year’s golf fundraiser at Notre Dame Academy was held recently. I did not know the end of David’s lottery story until the auctioneer told it to the audience just before he drew this year’s winning ticket.
Hooray for David, for his quiet leadership and generosity, and for this tradition continuing to grow.
Look what one act of kindness five years ago has led to today.
Just over a year ago we were one of two architecture firms vying for the opportunity to renovate and modernize the KPBS studios on the San Diego State University campus. While we regret we didn’t get the job then, our research and design efforts are paying off today in the reworking of our own studio space.
The nonprofit public radio station’s goals included sustainability and a more efficient and collaborative workspace. These are among the key factors in domusstudio’s modernization as well.
Here are a few of the ways our redesign efforts cross over with our design proposal for KPBS.
- Nearly completed, the domusstudio redesign has resulted in a more collaborative workspace as we occupy half the square footage previously needed, thereby bringing everyone closer together.
- We went paperless in order to be more sustainable, as well as to allow smaller workspaces for everyone. The computer screen is the new “desktop.”
- Another green design tactic we have utilized is to remove all window and skylight coverings in order to take advantage of our space’s abundant natural daylight.
- Custom-built workstations (we did this ourselves) feature minimal steel frames and 100 percent recycled paper work surfaces. The product we used is called Paperstone. We simply finished it with linseed oil.
- Heavy, 44-ounce carpet by Bentley Prince Street, which is an industry leader in responsible carpet manufacturing regarding environmental issues, adds another sustainable element to the redesign. The carpet is an Environmentally Preferable Product (EPP) as certified by Scientific Certification Systems – a third party certifier of environmental claims. Along with the heavy ounce weight, the carpet has an attached cushion back, together providing good sound attenuation. Our carpet mill local representative is GCThomas.
- The worry with an open office space is lack of privacy and sound attenuation. The heavyweight carpet absorbs a lot of the noise, and an unexpected result of our office without barriers is that everyone started speaking more softly. Everyone started talking less, too, which leads to better productivity. It’s a very successful case study and wonderful work environment.
The result has been very successful for us. It totally works. The formula we devised based on KPBS’ desire for a brand new collaborate workspace utilizing less square footage (less operating cost), is something we look forward to incorporating again, maybe even at SDSU.
For his continuing industry-related volunteerism over the past two decades, Holtan, a principal at San Diego’s domusstudio architecture, recently received an award from the California Architects Board, one of only three awarded in the state.
Holtan received the 2010 Octavius Morgan Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes individuals who have significantly contributed to the Board’s mission through their volunteerism over a period of time. Announced in the Spring 2011 newsletter, the award is named after the first president of the California Architects Board.
According to CAB, Holtan has contributed more than 1,000 hours towards the California Supplement Examination (CSE), and served as a CSE commissioner for more than 20 years and as a master commissioner since 1991. He served on multiple CSE-related workshops including the CSE commissioner reviews, job analysis, test plan and standard setting. He has recruited many fellow architects to participate in the CSE administrations, new licensees for the pilot test, and new licensees to assist with developing the computer-based CSE.
“Paying back the profession is only one of the benefits of volunteering,” Holtan explained in the CAB newsletter. “I’ve learned so many lessons from so many people and experience over the years, and to be given the opportunity to assist someone in getting licensed – reaching that professional milestone – is rewarding.”
Holtan has been with domusstudio architecture, founded in 1986 as Dominy + Associates Architects, since 1993. Current and recent projects include: the Parish Center at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church in Carlsbad and Ascension Parish Center in Tierra Santa; several fire stations in the City of Encinitas and one in La Quinta; and several San Diego Unified School District modernization projects funded in part by Proposition S.
Holtan graduated with degrees in both Architecture and Environmental Design from the University of Minnesota.
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