Kings High School architecture students are helping transform an iconic bar into a family-friendly restaurant.
Monkey Bar and Grille owners Mark and Amy Altemeier, who purchased the property last year, partnered with KHS art teacher Angie Guilfoyle and her students to help design the new space.
During the architecture class, students spent six weeks learning concepts such as measuring a space, drafting to scale and drawing isometric and perspective views. The class then became a mock design firm.
“Working with Mark and Amy and the Monkey Bar and Grille project allowed these students to experience real clients and their design needs. They held meetings, received feedback and pitched their own design ideas to their clients. The lessons learned through this project gave them a feel for how a project would be executed in an actual design firm,” Guilfoyle said. “This concept of community partnership is so valuable to the school and local businesses. It allows professionals to also play the role as teacher, and students get this amazing experience outside of the classroom.”
Now work is underway at the old train stop based on the students’ designs. They used 3-D modeling software, Sketchup Pro, to create new interior and exterior designs of the Monkey Bar and Grille, as well as an expanded outdoor seating area — complete with a stage, cabana bar and dock for canoes. Until it is fully converted to a restaurant, food trucks are on site Thursdays through Sundays.
“We are glad to change it over to make it more family friendly for everybody in our community,” said Mark Altemeier. “The kids have done a great job with the renderings. So many people come in the building and look at it every single day.”
Guilfoyle’s AP Drawing students designed a company logo and original artwork to display at the grille.
“The collaboration between Mark and Amy and my students has been great. It’s exciting that our own students have had a hand in designing a local space, as well as having their artwork on display for years to come,” she said.
The students also joined the Altemeiers in presenting the computer model and original artwork to Hamilton Twp. officials.
“The students did an awesome job and far exceeded our expectations,” said Amy Altemeier. “The designs are up on the walls; I can’t tell you how many compliments we get from people saying how fantastic the designs look and the art projects they did.”
To show their appreciation, the Altemeiers recently donated $1,000 to the KHS art department.
The couple looks forward to continuing partnerships with the community, from hiring Kings students to hosting fundraisers. They also plan to work with the architecture students on a future project — turning a house on the property into a coffee and ice cream shop.
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