It’s been a while since we’ve reported on the development of the West Broad Community Campus. And now we’ve got exciting news to share about it. So, we decided this was a good time for updates about — and an overview of — one of our community collaborations that has been years in the making.
Architects have been selected
First, the news: in mid-November 2021 a team of architects was selected to help campus stakeholders — representatives from different groups involved in the development of the campus and those it’s designed to benefit — decide on a final site for the campus and to begin preliminary design work on the campus itself.
The preliminary design work involves programming, which is the research and decision-making that will help the architects understand how neighborhood residents want the various parts of the campus to function and relate to one another.
The design team includes a lot of local expertise. Athens based Arcollab Architecture Collaborative, LLC and Koons Environmental Design, Inc. will do much of the building and site design work. Pratt Cassity, former director of the University of Georgia Center for Community Design, will help with engaging the community about the design criteria.
Jeff Bacon, an executive chef and cookbook author based in Winston Salem, NC and part of Catalyst Kitchens — an organization that supports nonprofits that provide pathways to jobs through a food service job training model–will assist with the design and set-up of the commercial kitchen that’s at the heart of the community campus project.
“It’s really exciting that this is finally happening,” said Heather Benham, ALT’s executive director.
What is a Community Campus?
A quick refresher: At a general level, the community campus idea is about a way to help people in low-income areas — often historically Black ones — preserve neighborhoods and important local institutions, celebrate local culture, increase access to healthy foods and give a space for local entrepreneurs to grow.
Based on extensive surveys and work with local residents, the West Broad Community Campus project was developed. This project will include: a new, permanent location for the well-loved West Broad Garden and Farmers Market, a fully-equipped commercial kitchen to support food-based entrepreneurs, and infrastructure for an array of youth and community programs.