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Students from Virginia Tech Design will transform Dublin Middle School into senior-friendly affordable homes



Blacksburg, Virginia – Students at Virginia Tech are changing for the better in several ways. within the New River Valley. The goal is to convert the now-vacant Dublin Middle School into senior affordable housing.

The Town of Pulaski and Virginia Tech design students are collaborating to renovate the 1950s-era middle school. Up to 40 elderly locals would be able to live in the building after renovations. On Wednesday, municipal officials and students got together to discuss design concepts and rental costs.

“Knowing where to put the walls, how to configure the floor plan, has been a challenge, but it’s been like a puzzle, and it’s been very fun and it’s very satisfying when you come out at the end and you have a floor plan you’re really happy with,” said Cassidy Stackpole, a design student.

The students cited the New River Valley’s dearth of affordable housing as one of the reasons Dublin was ideal for the project, and they hope to contribute to its correction.

“To be able to give back to that specific demographic, knowing that living in southwest Virginia can be hard sometimes, just kind of really helpful in that aspect, you know, how we can help them,” said Dalton Hart, another design student.

Lisa Tucker is the class instructor. She claims that restoring historical structures, such as ancient schools, is more sustainable and preserves heritage.

“These school buildings, what they’re finding as they’re consolidating around Virginia and other states. is they have all of these school buildings that are really expensive to tear down. They’re also in pretty good condition, oftentimes. It makes a natural place to gather the community and reuse the building. You know, they’re really well built, usually they’re built to last. They have nice big windows and huge spaces that make for nice one-bedroom apartments,” said Tucker.

She added that she hopes this endeavor inspires other communities and expressed her pride in her children.

By the end of this semester, the students hope to have completed the property’s designed blueprints.

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