UTSA graduate students help keep isle beautiful

From the Galveston Real Estate newspaper column

UTSA graduate students help keep isle beautiful
Were you aware that for seven consecutive summers UTSA Architecture students have been invited to Galveston to work collaboratively in the field with the Galveston Historical Foundation (GHF)?

galveston-UTSA-ghf-restorationThe Island’s leading architectural preservation and cultural advocacy organization again has teamed up with senior UTSA Lecturer/Mentor Rick Lewis. The students engage in documentation, research, and in the past three years, handson rehab construction efforts, and address an array of design and planning issues that every small city faces in order to remain relevant. The work achieved in this nonprofit partnership helps to further the goals of the GHF while fostering an environment for student learning experiences including the professional workplace’s demands for “practical training” in a thoughtfully balanced way.

Through the years I have become a friend of Rick’s and am always eager to participate in any way I can.

What makes this year’s field school particularly noteworthy is the graduate students are from widely diverse origins. Among the eight students, two of the students are from India, another hails from Nepal, while one traces his roots from Russia. Closer to home, another student was brought up in Mexico City and two others grew up in island settings — one from Jamaica and the other from Sri Lanka. One native Texan completes the team of eight as he has become the field school’s defacto guide in providing his colleagues with insights regarding “Island time.” As Galveston is so diverse, these eight felt right at home and have enjoyed learning about our lovely island.

The students have worked on a variety of design and planning endeavors including: The reinvigorating of the East End’s integrity by designing for reuse of four modest Arts and Crafts Era dwellings. hese are to be relocated on lots with the houses raised to new lood insurable heights. They will be situated between the downtown Strand Historic District and UTMB’s campus. GHF is partnering with UTMB and the City’s Historic Preservation Officer to bring this project to fruition.

Another project is the interior rehabilitation of 2123 Ave. K. The 2015 GHF Restoration in progress house, I was asked to help three of the students working on this project with real estate information and gave them a tour of historic homes in the area. hey have developed a great plan for this soon to be lovely home. he actual construction activities on the property to be undertaken by UTSA architecture students during the second summer term of 2015. How is that for being results oriented! his design/ build endeavor is being underwritten by the GHF to the advantage of availing students’ valuable hands-on material assemblage experience while working with construction project managers and local subcontractors responsible for meeting code driven incorporations of electrical, plumbing and mechanical system updates concerning the dwelling. Proceeds of the anticipated sale of the house will be turned back into the GHF’s long standing and greatly praised preservation revolving fund program to save another of our treasures.

Visitors bringing an entirely new viewpoint and solutions, another reason those of us lucky enough to live by the sea are lucky enough.

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