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BYU builds, donates two custom-made playhouses for Festival of Trees

Money raised by auction of playhouses goes to patients at Primary Children's Hospital

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Cosmo and head football coach Kalani Sitake are the inspiration for two BYU-themed playhouses built by BYU Physical Facilities for the 2018 Festival of Trees.

The playhouses — named "Cosmo’s Cottage" and "Kalani’s Surf Shack" — were designed, built, decorated and donated by employees of BYU and were auctioned off Nov. 27 to help raise money for patients at Primary Children’s Hospital.

“They were built by some of the best custom home carpenters, painters and craftsmen in the state, and they have spared nothing in the quality and construction,” said Ole Smith, assistant administrative vice president over BYU Physical Facilities, who framed one of the playhouses. “They are rock solid and trimmed out like true custom homes.”

Cosmo’s Cottage is blue and white with lap siding, cedar trim and an architectural shingle roof. It comes with BYU athletic swag, accessories and other surprises. Kalani’s Surf Shack is turquoise and pink with board and cedar batten siding and a corrugated metal roof in a retro Caribbean style. The Surf Shack comes with a shave ice machine, an original sports-artwork painting and additional themed goodies.

Both playhouses are BYU-themed and have Dutch doors made of solid hardwood (hickory with a walnut shelf), with dental molding below the shelf. All walls and ceilings are fully insulated and each playhouse has a loft with a ladder, a roof-top dormer window with a stretch Y logo, and four additional windows. Other features include:

  • Electric hook-up, electrical outlets and lights
  • Flat screen TV with built-in Blu-ray player
  • Bead board interior walls with chair rail
  • Stretch Y railings for the loft
  • Built-in window seats
  • Wall-to-wall carpeting that is not attached so that it can be lifted out if needed (the floor under the carpet is painted and finished so it looks great with or without the carpet)
  • Themed shutters and window planter boxes made from solid redwood from a giant Sequoia tree that grew by the BYU Botany (Duck) Pond.
  • And, of course, decorated Christmas Trees!

On the back side of the playhouses, a normal-sized “man door” is included so the playhouse can be converted to any other use if needed. Along with the time and work donated by BYU employees, dozens of local businesses donated materials, supplies and funding for the project.
“By the time you factor in all of the materials and labor donated, each playhouse is probably worth about $25,000,” Smith said. “They’re really nice.”

The BYU playhouses will be sold at the Festival of Trees silent auction on Tuesday, Nov. 27, at 5 p.m. at the Mountain America Expo Center. People interested in bidding on either of the playhouses can pre-register by texting "primary" to 52182, clicking on the bounceback link and entering their information as requested.

Every penny raised at the Festival of Trees goes to help children at Primary Children’s Hospital. Tickets to the event can be purchased here.

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