D.C. Everest Senior High Students Present Wausau Representatives with Wausau Mall Development Ideas
When D.C.Everest Information Technology and Business teacher Jennifer Gipp heard the proposal for a movie theater in the Wausau mall fell through, she seized on the news as an opportunity to present her Business Management students with a chance to solve a real-world -- and local --challenge. "I have been following the news concerning the vacant space in the mall where Sears used to be. When I heard the movie theater proposal was off the table, I thought -- this is the perfect opportunity for my students to test their skills, develop an idea and see if they can play a role in the future of the mall." Gipp contacted the mayor's office and spoke with Christian Schock, Director of Planning, who expressed interest in the project and kindly shared the specifications of the vacant space.
With the specifications in hand, students formed groups and began the arduous business development ideation process -- researching and creating a business plan that included a management summary, physical layout, marketing strategies and financial analysis.
In early December, Mayor Robert Mielke and Mr. Schock visited the school and listened to the students’ business proposals. According to Mayor Mielke, "The presentations were excellent and I really liked some of the ideas, but I especially liked the enthusiasm shown by everyone. Each student had a role in delivering their group presentations.” Mayor Mielke noted they would be meeting with mall owner representatives and would share the students’ ideas with them. “Their ideas were really very interesting and honestly quite good.” Not only did Mayor Mielke respect their creativity, he respected the data they provided to backup their ideas. “I liked the fact that their presentations included business plans, market analysis, management and organizational structure, profit and loss statements and facility layout/graphic designs. They truly presented all the information needed when making professional presentations to interested investors, entrepreneurs and financial organizations."
The students proposed using the vacant space for such ideas as an indoor theme park complete with a trampoline park and go kart track, an interactive museum, a fitness center/gym, an arcade and indoor golf course, and even a sports bar and grill.
When asked what the biggest takeaway of the business development project was, DCE Junior Travis Schubring commented, "The project was a team effort and everyone had to communicate in order to get the final project everyone wanted."