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updated: 1/17/2013 7:35 PM

COD students, architects to work on design concepts for Rebuilding Together Aurora

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COD News Bureau

College of DuPage students will work with professionals from the American Institute of Architects during a design charrette for Rebuilding Together Aurora, to be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26, in the Technical Education Center, Room 1038.

The AIA Northeast Illinois Chapter and the College's Architecture program students will help RTA design exterior improvements for the Grand Boulevard Youth Center as well as streetscape and facade improvements for selected locations in Aurora's Pattersonville neighborhood. RTA and neighborhood community representatives then will select features from the design schemes that can be implemented by other volunteer teams during the last weekend of April, when RTA celebrates its 20th anniversary with a Neighborhood Build. Past rebuilding events have included 800 volunteers performing critical repairs on selected homes. Design schemes also will be incorporated into a long-term master plan for the Pattersonville neighborhood.

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During the charrette, which is a French word to describe an intense design activity with a deadline, groups comprised of both architects and students will work together to develop concepts. At the end of the event, each team will present and discuss its plans.

"This is a great opportunity for students to work alongside professional architects on a real-life project," said Mark Pearson, associate professor of Architecture at COD. "Our students can apply the skills they have learned in class on a worthwhile community effort."

In 2009, the College of DuPage Architecture program and AIA teamed with DuPage Habitat for Humanity and ComEd during a charrette to help develop Pioneer Prairie in West Chicago, DuPage Habitat's first green residential subdivision project. In 2011, the program and AIA again worked with Habitat for Humanity Prairie Green, a sustainable, affordable, 16-unit townhouse development in DuPage County.

Rebuilding Together Aurora is a not-for-profit organization that provides free repairs to single-family, owner-occupied homes owned by elderly, disabled and low-income residents.

"Rebuilding Together Aurora has accomplished so much during the past 20 years, and we're happy to contribute to their current efforts in the Pattersonville neighborhood," Pearson said.

For more information, call (630) 942-2763 or email pearson@cod.edu.

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