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Apartment complex cabana turns into computer lab for students

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PUYALLUP, Wash. -- A Puyallup apartment manager has found a way to keep kids learning while they’re not in school.

A new pilot project is bringing computers to students in need.

At the Stillwater Apartment complex in Puyallup the sounds of kids on keyboards can be heard from the courtyard.

“I’m writing an essay, typing up an essay for my junior research paper,” said Tiana Lott, a Junior at Puyallup High School.

Lott is using one of four computers now available inside an old cabana that’ been turned into a computer lab.

The idea came from the new property manager, George Culver, who’s dedicated to helping kids.

“I thought it would be really great if I can incorporate my passion for education into my new property management job,” said George Culver, the property manager at Stillwater Apartments.

Culver didn’t do all of this on his own, the community came together to help.

Pacific Lutheran University donated the furniture for the lab and the Puyallup School District provided 4 computers to the project.

“We started here because we had the energy from Stillwater Apartments and they brought the energy and spark to us that we needed to have a successful pilot,” said Randy Averill, the Executive Director of Technology Services for the Puyallup School District.

For the kids it’s all about easy access to technology.

“It’s just a place for them to come and hang out and one thing parents are communicating to me is that it’s a safe place for them to come in and feel free,” added Culver.

On any given day the lab is filled with anywhere from 4 to ten students after school. Culver says the computers are not only available to students but to anyone who needs access to a computer or the internet.

“I like it because without this I’d have to walk down to the library all the time,” said Lott.

The program has been so successful the Puyallup School District is looking at ways to expand the project in the area.

“My goal is to create a legacy where this one computer lab has a ripple effect and all of a sudden there are computer labs all around the Puyallup area where there weren’t computer labs before,” added Culver.