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Seminole State students remodel bathroom for disabled veteran

Seminole State student-veteran John Minta stands in front of his newly remodeled master bathroom, which now has an ADA accessible floor plan and fixtures.

Updated: May 18, 2016

Students, faculty and alumni from Seminole State College’s interior design, engineering technology and construction programs participated in the Disabled Veteran's Home Renovation - a service learning project for a disabled student-veteran. The project was made possible by a $3,000 grant from The Home Depot Foundation that provided materials for the project.

John Minta, a veteran and Seminole State student graduating this spring, was selected to receive a remodeled master bathroom to provide an ADA accessible floor plan. Minta, who served in the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy Reserve for nearly eight years, suffers from polymyositis, a rare autoimmune disease that weakens the muscles, and will soon use a wheelchair for mobility. 

The College's students began working with Minta prior to Christmas to conduct some basic remodeling of his bathroom, but due to his new need for a wheelchair, the team completely redesigned the layout to accommodate for his evolving accessibility needs. In addition to the updated design, ADA accessible fixtures and amenities along with a larger shower and pedestal sink were added. 

A large opening to John Minta's master bathroom will allow him to complete a full turn in his wheelchair in the space, making it easier for him to access the shower.

The renovations were completed just days before Minta crossed the stage to receive his Associate in Science (A.S.) degree in Computer-Aided Drafting and Design. Minta was one of nearly 3,000 students graduating from Seminole State this spring. The commencement ceremony took place on May 3 in the CFE Arena at UCF.

"I am extremely grateful to my fellow Seminole State students and The Home Depot Foundation for taking on this project and remodeling my bathroom to make it more ADA accessible," said Minta. "This new layout will be an immense help in making my day-to-day activities easier for me."

The project is mutually beneficial for Minta and his peers at Seminole State, according to Michael Staley, Dean of the School of Engineering, Design and Construction.

“These service learning projects provide a living laboratory to exercise the students’ newfound knowledge and better prepare them for the workplace,” said Staley. “More importantly, our students learn that they possess specialized knowledge that can be used to improve the lives of others.”  

Seminole State’s School of Engineering, Design and Construction prepares students for a wide variety of careers in the built environment, including electrical and plumbing skilled trades, welding and HVAC technicians, construction management, engineering technology, interior design and surveying.

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