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CCCCD Students Design Addition for Historic Church

CCCCD Students Design Addition for Historic Church

APRIL 16, 2002 - Eleven students in Warner Richeson's commercial architecture class (DFTG 1354) are using their drafting and modeling skills to design an addition for a 100-year-old church in Celina, Texas. On a warm day in early April, the class gathered at the site of Preston North Church of Christ near the downtown square to take measurements and to sketch out the existing building's footprint.

"What we're doing today," said Richeson, professor of engineering and computer-aided design at CCCCD, "is trying to determine the existing building's layout. Because of its age, blueprints no longer exist. We are going to take these measurements back to the lab and work it up on computer."

According to Richeson, the final goal is to add a 20- by 40-foot addition to the church's present structure which, when it is finally raised and roofed, will be identical the building's original appearance, right down to the clapboard siding and lancet windows.

The modest one-room meeting house already has one perpendicular addenda, another 20- by 40-foot wing protruding from the eastern face of the building, probably added much later than the original structure and now used as a classroom annex. A detailed survey of the property is yet to be done.

The current church's minister, Reverend L.D. Byrd, is looking forward to having the additional space.

"I think it's a good thing for them and for us," said Byrd. "We are not a very large congregation, but we are outgrowing our current classroom space. It will help us grow, and help students learn."

The class's goal by the end of this semester is to present the church with several design proposals. This summer the church will then select and refine the plan that it likes best. Since most of the students in this class are sophomores, about to graduate and to move on to other universities, it will have to be left to some future architecture class to finalize and oversee construction on the project.

"It's exciting to get some real-life, practical experience," said Esther D'Entremont, a sophomore from Allen, Texas. "This is a rare opportunity to get to go out into the field, and put our classroom experience to use. Here we get the physical interaction with the building and we get to see the project from the beginning to end. It's more real than on paper or in books."

Other students in Richeson's class who are working on the Celina church project include Leroy Everett of McKinney, Nicholas Hale of Allen, Rebecca Higgs of Wylie, Darren Johnson of Rowlett, Rita Kira of Dallas, Steven Latzel of Dallas, Dana Lautenslager of Carrollton, Jeff Mansir of Plano, Joseph Parkin of Dallas and Tedd Robinson of Plano.