On a Wednesday afternoon during which most UGA graduate students could be found in a classroom, one group in the Building Materials Conservation class is in east Athens, at an old school from the 19th century.
The graduate class, which focuses on historic preservation, divides the students into groups, who then get to work on different community preservation projects.
This particular group is working on the Belmont Road School, which dates back to 1904, when the property was sold to the Athens-Clarke County Board of Education and was first used as a school.
The objective of this class is for the students to create an in-depth document called a historic structure report, which includes information about the condition of the property, the materials used, and a recommendation for restoration of the property.Why It’s Newsworthy: Students from the Historic Preservation class at UGA work together to aid in the conservation of local historic sites that have been neglected or are in a state of disrepair. This type of hands-on project not only benefits the community, but also provides real-world experience for graduate students who are about to enter into the workforce.
Shelley Cannady, an associate professor in the College of Environment and Design said, “Students really get a lot of value with community projects. It gives them a sense of importance and then it becomes more than just school work. It can be frustrating to be studying to be in a profession and then not being able to do that work. Students like to get their hands dirty.”
Lydia Megdal is a senior majoring in journalism in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.