BSCI Students Transform Community through Service Learning

BSCI Service Learning Spring 2024

Students, faculty and staff in Auburn’s McWhorter School of Building Science (BSCI) are celebrating another successful semester of Service Learning projects.

Each semester, students have the opportunity to engage in hands-on work with a community non-profit project under direction of BSCI faculty. In Spring 2024, students were led by Associate Professor Darren Olson, Senior Lecturer Hunter McGonagill and Senior Lecturer and Field Lab Manager Jonathan Tucker.

“I am very proud of the work our students did this semester,” Tucker stated. “We had the opportunity to work with several new non-profits, and all six of our projects were unique.”

Service learning clients are provided with a detailed estimate, a realistic schedule and a comprehensive presentation. Materials are donated by BSCI’s non-profit partners.

BSCI’s Spring 2024 Service Learning project lineup presented students with a variety of challenges.

At Camp Marannook, one group of students constructed platforms for semi-permanent tents to house youth attending summer camps and other various events. A second group installed all of the interior doors, interior base, casing and ceiling trim, flooring and tin ceilings at two of the camp’s cabins.

Another team prefabricated walls for Dovetail Landing at the Robins & Morton Construction Field Lab. This summer, a team will set the walls and roof trusses.

Students assisted East Alabama Youth for Christ with the remodel of their sanctuary.

At the Tallapoosa Girls Ranch, a family-style home for at-risk youth, a fourth team repaired an existing hay barn and built a lean-to roof on their new pole barn.

The last team worked with both Curtis House, a non-profit community center in Opelika, and the foster organization Big House to pour a parking area and complete a storage shed, respectively.

Tucker, who joined the BSCI faculty in Fall 2022, underscores the pivotal role that Service Learning plays in an Auburn Building Science education.

“Service Learning allows students to learn construction processes, but more importantly, it promotes teamwork, discipline and an understanding of what it takes to get the job done,” he said. “Our students walk away with not only a greater appreciation for the trades in our industry but an understanding of their ability to positively impact their own communities and the fulfillment that provides.”