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English Avenue Campus

March 7, 2011

 

     

This past Saturday I had the opportunity to attend a design charette for Greater Vine City’s Opportunities Program’s (GVCOP) English Avenue Campus Project. I got involved after attending an Architecture for Humanity Atlanta Event “Dine like you give a damn!” last Thursday. The project is lead by “Able” Mable Thomas, one of the most energetic and uplifting peope I have ever met.

The goal of the English Avenue Campus is to create a community center in the Vine City area. Historic English Avenue Elementary School, which has been vacant since 1995, will be the site for the Campus. The elementary school was built in 1910 and sits on 3.2 acres of land — lots of space and opportunity for innovation!

The community center is envisioned to be a state of the art building centered around green technologies. The campus will engage local residents, foster creativity, and provide opportunities to improve lives — through education, encouragement, and healthcare. The building itself will utilize green building technoliges such as Structurally Insulated Panels (SIPs) and solar panels. Although AFHA may not be able to afford LEED certification — they are definitely aiming for the community center to be up to LEED’s standards. 

The center is still very much in development, but some amenities it may include are:

1. Performing Arts Center

2. Green Tech Job Training

3. Recording Studio

4. Green Space/Community Garden

5. Culinary Academy + Restaurant

6. Daycare center

7. Charter school

8. Birthing center/ Health & wellness

9. Community Space

10. Office spaces

My favorite part : Mable calls out to make an announcement and the room goes quiet. She points to the door and yells, “Somebody lock that door!” Some one gets up and locks the door immediately, thinking there is an issue with security. Then Mable shouts “Good! Now nobody can leave. Let’s get to work!”. The whole room filled with laughter, and then, as instructed got back to work.

It was a challenging charette — but very rewarding. I felt a little out of my element looking at floor plans and site maps, but there were so many green building experts in the room that I didn’t miss a thing. Everyone there was so passionate and motivated about creating the English Avenue Campus, I left feeling truly inspired.

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