Diane B. Clifton,334/844-5117


AUBURN -- The Family Resource Center in Greensboro, Ala., has two new buildings, thanks to the design and construction efforts of four women architecture thesis students from Auburn University.

The work was done as part of the College of Architecture, Design and Construction's Rural Studio, which was established in Hale County in 1993.

³We were something to talk about in town,² says San Diego native Nikol Shaw, who along with Ginger Jesser-Cunningham and Michael Renauld, both of Mobile and Allison Bryant of Atlanta made up the female foursome.

Richard Rhone, director of the FRC, agreed that the small town was abuzz over the all-girl-powered construction project.

"The girls said they would have gotten a whole lot done a whole lot sooner without people stopping to ask, 'Where are the guys?'" said Rhone.

It took the students nine months to design and construct the buildings.

"It's been a nice experience to have a real client and real project rather than a hypothetical one," said Shaw. "We've enjoyed interacting with the community."

The project consisted of two buildings -- one red, one yellow -- with 1,285 total square feet and a brick and mortar walk covered with a vaulting gabled roof. Based somewhat on a "dog-trot" design, the buildings are adjacent to the FRC.

"The red building is modeled after a child advocacy center," says Shaw.

It includes rooms for play therapy, interviews and assessing abuse. A work space, observation room and bathroom are also in the red building.

The yellow building, says Rhone, has classroom space for a variety of educational programs, including parenting classes, "power" classes (designed to help adults move from welfare to work), teen "power" classes (to help break the cycle of welfare) and a class to help divorcing parents understand the effect divorce has on their young children. The building is being used this summer for elementary school tutoring.

Bryan Bell, an AU visiting professor, who has been supervising the students for Rural Studio director and co-founder Samuel Mockbee, says the students have done a ". . . phenomenal effort here with a lot of heart and a lot of sweat, on time and on budget."

"It's a beautiful product that children and families can enjoy for years and years," said Bell. "The students did all the work."

Rhone said since the project in downtown Greensboro will be a "premiere showcase" for Auburn University Outreach.

"We're so excited about this particular project because it is actually providing services," says Rhone.

In the past the center has approached problems through intervention, says Rhone.

"Now we can put the emphasis on prevention," he added

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CONTACT: 334/844-4524.