K-STATE AT SALINA’S DISC GOLF COURSE DESIGNED, BUILT BY STUDENTS
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
SALINA – It started as an idea for a campus improvement project in a 2002 leadership class. Students in the class were put into groups and challenged to develop a project that could improve life on campus and benefit the entire student body. Most ambitious was a plan to put a nine-hole flying disc golf course on the north end of campus. After more than two years and campus-wide involvement, the project is finally complete.
“The project was feasible, and the student group did an excellent job of outlining everything in their project,” said Shana Meyer, assistant director of college advancement for student life. “They went through all the steps, from planning to approval by the dean.”
“I think we all knew that the amount of support behind the idea would make it become a reality,” said Nic Colgrove, senior in computer systems technology from Washington, Kan.
“Originally, the group had planned on purchasing the baskets from an outside source,” Meyer said. “Somewhere along the line it was suggested that we make them here on campus and involve more students.”
Greg Spaulding, K-State at Salina associate professor of mechanical engineering technology, was then approached to have his students design and build the baskets on campus. As a result, development of the baskets was turned over to four mechanical engineering technology students in Spaulding’s Machine Design I class as a group project.
“Once we got the baskets designed, most of our spare time each day was spent in the shop,” said Tim Rumpel, senior in mechanical engineering technology from Topeka.
Using computer aided design software, the group designed the baskets. Working from those plans, the group then got to work cutting, bending and rolling the steel for the first basket. Rumpel said he spent around three hours each day in the shop working on the baskets.
“We had the assistance of several mechanical engineering technology students who were not part of our design group for the final assembly,” said Jared Manly, senior in mechanical engineering technology from Lakin. He added that one of the most challenging aspects was maintaining the projected fabrication date. From start to finish, the group spent more than 300 hours on the project.
Laser cutting and metal inert gas welding techniques were used, as well as a sheet roller purchased specifically for the project. Students used a laser to cut Powercat emblems to adorn the tops of the baskets.
Funding for the project came from the campus student activity center, which also loans flying discs to students for the course.
The original course layout was changed to accommodate the recently completed Thaemert Recreational Field and to reflect the input of a local competitive disc golf player. In addition, the tee boxes and baskets were specially designed to allow the course to be altered every few years, creating a new challenge for players.
Students involved in the early stages of the project said that they feel a sense of pride when they think of what has been accomplished.
“The project turned out even better than what we conceived,” said Jennifer Peasley, senior in professional pilot from Littleton, Colo.
Students involved in the planning and manufacturing stages of the project were:
Jared Manly, senior in mechanical engineering technology, Lakin, manufacturing team; Frank Nelson, junior in mechanical engineering technology, McPherson, manufacturing team; Eric Scott, former student in professional pilot, Olathe, planning team; David Buss, senior in professional pilot, Osawatomie, planning team; Shane Edinborough, junior in mechanical engineering technology, manufacturing team, Salina; Mandi Bellamy, May 2004 graduate in professional pilot, Sharon Springs, planning team; Tim Rumpel senior in mechanical engineering technology, Topeka, manufacturing team; and Nic Colgrove, senior in computer systems technology, Washington, planning team.From out of state: Jennifer Peasley, senior in airway science, Littleton, Colo, planning team; Eric Meendering, junior in professional pilot, Hull, Iowa, planning team.