Students Redesign Front Garden of Ronald W. Reagan Presidential House at FIU


FIU LAEUD students Kevin Arrieta and Alexis Alvey were selected to redesign the front garden of the Ronald W. Reagan Presidential House at FIU as part of a one-day design charrette competition sponsored by FIU Facilities and organized by Associate Professor Roberto Rovira in April 2015. 

Arrieta won first place and Alvey won second place, and worked together with Randy Hollingworth from Bermello Ajamil & Partners, Inc. and FIU Facilities to implement the winning design in July 2015.  The two students won a cumulative total of $600 in prizes and the chance to present their designs to FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg’s office and to see it realized over the summer.

“It was a great experience working alongside Randy and his partners at Bermello Ajamil and hearing feedback from future employers throughout the design process,” said Arrieta. “The charette design process is unlike any other competition and forces us designers to design quickly and under pressure. As a student, I felt honored to see my design go from a design on plan to a built project for the president of our university.”

Alvey feels equally as grateful for the experience of designing for the FIU Reagan Presidential House. “The whole process was a very rewarding experience,” she said. “It was great to see how our initial designs were transformed and implemented. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in this project and make an impact here at FIU.”

Professor Rovira, who organized the one-day design charrette competition, said, “The opportunity for our students to participate in the Reagan House garden project allowed them to see a project from start to finish in our own campus backyard. The students had to work with the constraints of the site and responded to President Rosenberg’s request to reimagine this prominent entrance to FIU’s Presidential House. We are happy for our winning students and for our collaboration with Bermello Ajamil, who implemented a design that exceeded all expectations. It was a pleasure to be a part of the process and to have our students leave such a wonderful mark on our campus.”

Ronald W. Reagan Presidential House, FIU Modesto A. Maidique Campus

Featured header photo: (From left to right) Javier Marques (Chief of Staff, FIU President’s Office), Nicholas Diciacco (Executive Director Physical Plant), Jose Vargas (Master Electrician), FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg, FIU LAEUD Associate Professor Roberto Rovira, FIU LAEUD Student Alexis Alvey, John Cal (Associate Vice President of Facilities Management). Not pictured: FIU LAEUD Student Kevin Arrieta.

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