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MIDC Students Work with Wiregrass Museum of Art

Winegrass Museum

In the fall of 2013, 13 students from the Masters of Integrated Design and Construction program at Auburn University developed three schemes for the Wiregrass Museum of Art (WMA) located in Dothan, Alabama. The existing museum occupies a building downtown that was originally the Water and Electric Building built in 1912.  The space was renovated in the 1980s to include new gallery spaces, curatorial spaces, conference center and office space for Museum staff.  Recently the Museum staff and Board have begun discussions about expanding the facility to meet their needs for Children’s education; particularly in additional classrooms and workspaces.  To help define the scope of the project the MIDC students conducted a study of three schemes that focused on programming, price estimates, construction schedule and basic massing.

In order to develop as-built drawings to assess the efficiency of their existing space, the students spent time during the first site visit measuring and sketching.  Working with Professor Junshan Liu from Building Science, a LIDAR scan was conducted of the facility which created a point cloud with over 80 million points of data.  The cloud was then used to create Revit models and Sketchup models for further project development.  The digital models were also used to create 3d printed models of the original conditions. With these tools the students were able to create proposals for a new children’s wing to the Museum that ranged from 5000 to 7000 square feet.  The students were led in their efforts by Professors Christian Dagg and Paul Holley.
Just before the fall break in 2013, the students traveled to Dothan to present their projects to a group that consisted of Mayor Mike Schmitz, Board of Trustee members, Chamber of Commerce members and other municipal officials.  The students also worked in a series of breakout sessions with the staff of the Museum to gather additional feedback to their proposals. It is through this type of interactive educational environment that the MIDC students learn about the importance of team building and collaboration in the successful realization of any construction project.