The Mobile Literacy Arts Bus (MLAB) is an artist-run, renovated recreational vehicle that exists as a flexible space open to community members’ proposals for alternative educational and cultural programming.

MLAB is the collaborative effort of the 2007-2008 Social Sculpture class at Syracuse University, comprised of 10 art and architecture students and lead by artist and Director of Community Initiatives in the Visual Arts of Syracuse University, Marion Wilson. Our mission was to transform a used, 1984 Recreational Vehicle Bus into a Mobile Literacy and Arts Bus for use by the Syracuse City School District and the greater Syracuse Community. MLAB serves as a physical manifestation of Syracuse University’s Scholarship in Action initiative, by pairing University resources with community needs in an attempt to address the staggering drop out rates in the Syracuse City School District High Schools. Through the School of Education at Syracuse University, incredible curricula that bridge photography, poetry and literacy currently exist within the public schools-- however due to a crisis of space, the schools don't always have the space or resources to house it. MLAB is this space. The bus serves as a mobile classroom, digital photo lab, gallery space, and community center. As a team, we did it all: demolition, design, and construction.

MLAB is made possible from the generous support of the School of Education at Syracuse University and Entitiative.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tomorrows Guests

So I quickly found out when calling up Joe-Schmoe for estimates on an RV paint job, that theres only so much an over the phone consultation can do. So we're having guests tomorrow, two exactly and they're coming between 1:30 and 6pm. I'm going to call Jeff during the day to find out when and will probably do the same for Dave.

The reason why we're having guests is that paint shops need to see the vehicle. I got a helpful answer from the last person I spoke with. When we ask for a price estimate, they want to have all the details... much like certain architecture students that I know :) ! So that means, asking questions like, well how many windows does it have? or how many colors do you want to use? or what colors do you want to use because higher tint = higher price. And many others.

Let me just set the scene for you all, here I am with my high pitched girl voice trying to remember the term "paint job" among other things and saying "Hi I have a 30' Holiday Rambler RV from the mid 80's and I was wondering if you could give me an estimate for how much it would cost to have it repainted?" This I assure you was hilarious and I myself had to take breaks to laugh about it.

The response I got ranged from, my favorite "Whoa! I don't even know how much it would cost. I mean it would be thousands. I could tell you about a car hood but an RV I mean I can't even imagine. We'd have to charge by the foot!" to the more critical "well, how many windows..." guy. Out of the dozen places I contacted locally, I received several no's and ultimately four good leads. The rough estimate given to me was 4-5,000 or 3,500-4,500 by two different sources. This demonstrates some consistency within the field. Two of the four serious places have handled RVs before, two have not. Two have worked previously with SU. So thats the update!
We'll find out more tomorrow!

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