CADC Students Renovate the Auburn Girl Scout Hut

CADC Students Renovate the Auburn Girl Scout Hut

Spring is a time of renewal and renovation, so it is fitting that the Auburn Girl Scout community has seen its primary meeting space transformed this spring. In March and April of 2018, students and faculty from the College of Architecture, Design and Construction (CADC), along with a coalition of local partners, collaborated to revitalize the Auburn Girl Scout Hut. Approximately 30 CADC students studying building construction and architecture worked with local Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts as well as industry expert volunteers from Kiewit, a local construction firm, to bring new life to this valuable building.

Assistant Professor Alan Bugg and graduate student Katie Bobo, both in Auburn University’s building construction program, knew they wanted to take on this project after meeting with Sherry Barron, the local Girl Scout leader, and touring the hut to assess needed improvements,. The process began in January, when architecture and construction students came together for a design charrette. Soon, more students helped with other planning aspects such as food, posters, and construction details. Eventually, the coalition devoted four spring Saturdays to making improvements on the hut, including new decking, new pavers, new screen doors, and an ADA accessible ramp.

Two student organizations from the CADC took part in this service-learning project, the local chapter of the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA-AU) and the 2045 Coalition. Both organizations are new to the Auburn campus and have a strong service-learning/community service focus. DBIA-AU exists to educate students on design-build project delivery methods. This organization connects students in architecture with those in building construction because throughout their careers, they will work alongside each other. DBIA-AU focuses on events and projects that teach communication and collaboration.

Unique to Auburn is the 2045 Coalition. While its membership is not limited to women, the 2045 Coalition’s mission is to highlight women in the fields of construction and design. The number, “2045,” is derived from the year 1945, when Auburn Architecture and Auburn Construction joined schools, and highlights the organization’s goal, to promote acceptance and appreciation of women in the design and construction fields by the year 2045.

“The Girl Scout Hut is a wonderful opportunity to showcase what the 2045 Coalition was created to do—enhance and encourage women in the construction and design industry,” says Bobo, who is Chair of the 2045 Coalition and the President of DBIA-AU. “This is an amazing opportunity for students from different disciplines, whether male or female, within the CADC to come together to work side-by-side with the Auburn Girl Scouts.”

The mother of one Girl Scout agrees. Colleen Bourdeau, eight-year old Sydney’s mom, says, “Watching how professional and patient the students were with the Girl Scouts was amazing. The students seemed to understand that the Girl Scouts needed to have an important role in the renovation.”

Service Learning projects are an integral part of the CADC. Students apply the skills and theories they learn in courses to help various communities— both locally in Auburn and more globally around the nation and the world. While helping the Girl Scouts get an improved place to meet was the goal of this project, a lot more was accomplished. As Katie explains, “The Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts who volunteered got to see the college men and women coming together to help the community.’

The following DBIA-AU officers also played key roles in the organization and successful outcome of Auburn Girl Scout Hut Renovation: Heath Barton, Vice President; Kelsey Baker, Building Science Secretary; Nadine Hernandez, Architecture Secretary; Wes Vansant, Treasurer; Ryan Logan, Building Science Service Coordinator and Emily Lopez, Architecture Service Coordinator.