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A Booth of a Different Color

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Gina is a 2012 graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. A resident of Akron, Ohio, she currently serves as managing editor of BodyShop Business and previously held internships with multiple consumer and B2B publications. She is a member of the Women's Industry Network.

Collision repair education is, in and of itself, a hands-on learning experience. But Kerry Coggins and Matt Pach of the Van Buren Technology Center in Lawrence, Mich., took that concept to the next level, allowing their students to fix up a piece of the school’s equipment — a 19-year-old Garmat spraybooth.

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Coggins, the school’s collision repair program instructor, says that an in-class assignment of painting the inside of the booth soon turned into a full-fledged makeover initiative.

“The booth is going on about 20 years old, and it just wasn’t looking good,” he said.

Originally, Coggins and his students had planned to redo the inside of the booth and paint the outside white. But he wanted to get more creative than that. He had his students brainstorm some ideas for their custom spraybooth design, then selected the best idea as the booth’s current look.

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“Coming up with the design was kind of a collaboration,” he said. “We had about three or four ideas in mind, and then settled on the design that we currently have.”

The newly painted spraybooth features a waving American flag down the side, while the front is designed to look like a stone wall with wooden doors. The students used PPG paint, and it took about three weeks to completely craft the new design. Coggins says it was worth it.

“It was a good project for the students,” he said. “They now take a lot of pride and ownership of the job they’ve done, so I think that kind of motivates the students in the program because they look at it and say ‘Yeah, we did that.’”

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