An incredible piece of MSU history was unearthed today as several antique documents were donated to the Michigan State Library. Among them was the blueprints for Bessey Hall’s bathrooms, explaining the uncommon urinal set-up on several floors. As they were drawn in crayon, The Black Sheep reached out to local elementary schools for comment.
“They were at the bottom of my drawer for a week,” said East Lansing Elementary School teacher, Ms. Sudduth. “I had to fill some time with my first graders, and telling them to draw how they think plumbing works seemed easy. I told them to explain showers, toilets, and water fountains as creatively as they could. The kids become kind of a handful when they get bored.”
Little did Ms. Sudduth know her class’s art project was about to become a staple in almost every Spartan’s life.
“I didn’t bother to grade or hand back those drawings. I meant to, but after a week it was a lot easier just to stuff them in a McDonald’s drive-thru garbage bin and call it a night.”
Thankfully Ms. Sudduth’s gross act of negligence was actually a wonderful deed. If not for her first graders’ drawings, we wouldn’t have some of campus’s staples, such as Bessey Hall.
“Sometimes rooting around in the garbage pays off,” said Bessey Hall building administrator, Sam Mikulski. “We were looking for a low bidder to design the building’s plumbing when I found something even better, something free. I was afraid I was going to lose my job for this, but in the end, I know I made the right choice.”
When we pressed him on his decision, Mikulski elaborated.
“Sure, they were drawn up in crayon and hard to read, but once you get past the presentation, the ideas were genius. For example, why does every urinal in the men’s room need to flush separately? You can put one handle in the middle for all three. It’s the kind of brilliance that only a young mind could design.”
Of course, the most daring design of all is how some of the blueprints refused to obey any sort of conventions.
“The north wing is my favorite part of Bessey Hall; those urinals don’t even flush,” said Mikulski excitedly. “Only a first grader could invent it: a toilet that doesn’t flush. Why waste the water? Why add an extra step to this whole process? It’s a shame it’s illegal to hire a six-year-old as a plumber, because one of those kids would be a full-time member on my team.”
Amazing! Whoever designed Bessey Hall’s bathrooms is an important part of MSU history, and it goes to show amazing things happen when you put art in the garbage.