This year Breedlove Land Planning had the opportunity to assist Hilsman Middle School students involved in a program called “Foundations In Design.” The program, which received a grant from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), was initiated and led by Architectural Collaborative, an Athens based Architectural Firm. Foundations In Design introduces students to principles of design and construction. Throughout the year, students learned about a variety of AEC practice areas including architecture, interior design, landscape architecture and civil engineering. The students experienced field trips to construction sites, educational sessions with local design professionals and hands-on project activities. The students then divided into small groups to tackle a semester long project – design of a new community garden space on the grounds of their new campus.
Breedlove Land Planning had recently worked on the site design of the new Hilsman Middle School campus, which was opened in 2019. BLP utilized campus data to prepare a base map of the project area for the students to work from. BLP also donated engineering scales to the program so that students could learn how designers convert real world measurements into a plan scale. BLP’s Kayloe Dawson, PE and Gary Caraway, PLA worked with the students to understand spatial requirements of various elements which could be incorporated into the plan. These elements included walkways, crop rows, raised garden beds, fish ponds/fountains, chicken coops and chicken runs. They also taught students about rainwater capture. The presentation outlined the process of determining how much water would be needed to irrigate their plants and how much water could be collected via rain barrels or cisterns. It explained cistern sizing, proper locating and efficient drip irrigation techniques.
The program culminated this past Thursday with a presentation by the students. Each group presented their design solutions to a room full of “jury” members and proud parents. Moving forward, the designs will be utilized to assist in fund raising efforts as they aim to make the community garden into a campus reality. We look forward to next year as the program hopes to shift to students at Clarke Middle School.