Youngstown Landmark Brings Students and Community Members Together

By Amanda Joerndt 

An iconic landmark in Youngstown, Stambaugh Auditorium, is undergoing reconstruction with the help of engineering technology students and professional consultants.

Students going through the engineering technology program at Youngstown State University have partnered with Stambaugh Auditorium and professional consultants to rebuild the Fifth Avenue grand staircase and front facade of the building.

It started with a structural design tour of Stambaugh, and turned into Stambaugh directors asking if YSU students would be willing to work on this project.

Carol Lamb, director of the school of engineering technology, is giving her students an opportunity they will never forget once they leave YSU.

Lamb said this is the first time her students have worked with professionals on a project, let alone with professionals on such an iconic landmark in Youngstown.

The students are working in smaller teams throughout the class to complete each task for the project.

Lamb said this project is important for her students and herself since this landmark is so significant to the community.

“I wanted something more hands on, physically doing it and learning by applying it,” Lamb said. “They’re getting to work with the professionals on the project and understand what their roles are as far as construction management.”

She said the project can benefit everyone involved including students, faculty and the Stambaugh Staff.

“It’s a win-win for YSU and for Stambaugh. We’re giving back to the community and it’s a historical site,” Lamb said.

The students are working in smaller teams throughout the class to complete each task for the project.

Lamb said this project will be with the students for the rest of their lives and will always have a bigger meaning to them.

“When all is said and done, I think they’ll always be connected to that project,” she said.

Mike McGiffin, development and community relations director at Stambaugh Auditorium, has been working with the students and professional consultants on the project.

The reconstruction will go through phases from the demolition of what is existing, the preparation to build and then the reconstruction of the site and utilities.

McGiffin said the project is being funded through different outlets to make the reconstruction possible.

“So far we have $1 million in capital budget and is utilized for projects like this. We have a few federal grants and we are also looking for family and legacy planning as well,”he said.

McGiffin said the landmark holds a special place in the city of Youngstown and is still  utilized on a daily basis.

“It’s been around for 92 years and I hope a lot of people see the same as I do when looking at the front facade,” McGiffin said. “It’s an iconic structure and I feel very proud and know that we need to preserve it.”

McGiffin said he is overwhelmed with their drive to take on such a big project.

“I’m wildly impressed by the professionalism of the students and by their eagerness to learn,” he said.

Emilie Eberth, coordinator of STEM outreach, connects the STEM program into the community to other schools, families and students.

Eberth said the project has helped the STEM program connect with other people in the community.

“When we put ourselves out there, it will attract more partners in the community,” she said. “Anytime we work with people, it helps us get our name and students out there and promote STEM.”

Eberth said seeing the connection between the students and the landmark was an exciting feeling.

“I was really excited because it’s such an iconic piece of Youngstown,” she said. “I feel it will help the students connect to the center of the community.”

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