Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Field Report: Tulane City Center-John Coyle

There has been a lot going on at TCC lately and this month went by fast. I feel very lucky to be part of all the new responsibilities associated with TCC’s expanding capacity.  I love the work that I am doing and am so fortunate to be learning from my amazing site supervisor/mentor Emilie Taylor, TCC’s project manager. Fall classes began this month so I have been assisting Emilie with her Studio Course: Engage_Design_Build, which is tasked with designing the interior of the new TCC building in addition to a fabrication seminar which will be constructing major elements for Parisite Skatepark.

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Parisite-before construction (corner of Paris ave and Pleasure St under the 610)


aerial rendering of skatepark (corner of Paris ave and Pleasure St under the 610)

I have had moderate success in finding volunteers for the skatepark project. At the Make a Difference Service Fair, we were able to get 30 students to leave their email addresses, 6 of which emailed me back, 1 who showed up to volunteer the very next day! I am hoping for a greater turnout over the next couple of weeks from a few of these folks who seemed very excited about the project. I have also connected with a few groups such as the Tulane Green Club and Groundwork New Orleans who have expressed interest in working on the project because of the ecological aspect. The site strategy includes rain gardens designed to catch the run-off from the 610 overpass.  I am  excited about the completion of this project and the impact it will have in the community. This will be the only public skatepark in the city and affect the lives of hundreds of kids of all ages by giving them a safe place to skate.

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TCC Studio Students working with the kids at APEX on some sketches for the new benches

Another project that I am  excited about is for APEX Youth Center.  The scale of the project is very small but I think it could make a big difference to the kids who come to APEX.  We are in the process of installing a long, two tiered bench which will face their basketball court.  There will be integrated storage, a shade structure, chalk boards and planters to grow vines for the shade structure. I proposed doing a small design-build project with APEX at the beginning of the semester as typically Emilie’s studios work with members of the community to address their needs.  This semester, her students will be working on our own building and would not have had the chance for much community engagement. I am thankful that Emilie let me make this happen and hopefully the kids at APEX will also be pleased with the result.

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TCC Studio Students assembling the benches at APEX

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View from the basketball court



This entry was posted on September 18, 2014 by in VISTA Field Reports.



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