Bridge Builder Communities and McMillan Pazdan Smith’s Summer Interns Featured on WRDW News in Augusta

Bridge Builder Communities and McMillan Pazdan Smith's Summer Interns Featured on WRDW News in Augusta

Augusta studio leaders and MPS summer interns collaborated with Dr. Jackson Drumgoole of Bridge Builder Communities, a Drumgoole Family Initiative, to design safe, affordable housing for an underserved population. Bridge Builder Communities mission is to assist 18 to 25-year-olds aging out of the foster care system to reach their full potential.

Housing and support for this demographic is needed in Georgia and across the country where 50% of teens aging out of foster care will be homeless within six months. More than half of those in Georgia foster care age out of the system with no permanency plan in place.”

McMillan Pazdan Smith is working with Drumgoole Family Initiatives to plan and design a “tiny home” village that will provide affordable housing, educational opportunities, certification completion programs, on-site counseling, job training, and structured support systems. Tiny homes were chosen for their manageable size and ability to allow young adults to live independently. Each home will be 320 square feet and feature a central area for living, dining and sleeping. Kitchens are outfitted with an induction cooktop, microwave, and refrigerator. Bathrooms and storage closets are also included. The homes can be modified to meet each resident’s needs. Designed in “pods” of five units, the tiny homes are centered around an outside courtyard or gathering area to promote a culture of community.

Every summer, McMillan Pazdan Smith engages a cohort of emerging professionals from a variety of backgrounds and university architecture programs to collaborate with. This year, the MPS summer interns went to Augusta, Georgia to immerse themselves in the city, and work with Bridge Builder Communities to offer fresh ideas for the design of the project’s community building. It was important to have young professionals who are roughly the same age as the future residents offer their creative solutions to spaces for programs, socialization, and instruction. “They were able to come in and say, ‘what are the services that I would need; what would I like to see if I were someone experiencing this,'” says MPS Augusta Studio Director, Joy Morgan Newberry.

WRDW/WAGT News 12 26’s Zayna Haliburton traveled to Augusta the first week of May 2024 to cover the story of this exciting project and our intern’s involvement with it. Watch: Ground could break soon for Augusta’s first tiny home community.


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