UGA’s Archway Partnership Paves the Way to New Road in Candler County Earlier this year, the University of Georgia’s College of Engineering took the concept of experiential learning to the streets… literally. Through the university’s Archway Partnership, the college provided the aid of its civil and environmental engineering students to help a Georgia community located nearly three hours south of UGA’s famed arch. Candler County (which spans 247 square miles, has a population of nearly 11,00 residents and with Metter as its county seat) is primed and ready for growth. As a unit of the UGA Office of Public Service and Outreach, the decade-old Archway Partnership was created in the spirit of true collaboration; to create a mutually beneficial relationship where communities could benefit from the innovation and expertise of UGA faculty and students, who in turn have a great deal to gain from practical experience outside of the four walls of their classrooms. In the case of Candler County, the Archway Partnership teamed students from the College of Engineering with students from Terry College of Business. The goals with which they were tasked included identifying possible routes for a new road to relieve traffic congestion, creating an access point for a newly constructed school complex, producing a 32-acre commercial site design and – in turn – attracting prospective businesses to put down roots along the new corridor. Beginning in fall 2014, College of Engineering students collected data about existing infrastructure and geography near Interstate 16 and began developing a preliminary design for the new route. At the same time, Terry College of Business MBA students joined forces with the UGA Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to explore potential commercial development candidates that would prove a good fit for the area and could serve as an economic benefit to the county. Into the spring 2015, College of Engineering students continued to design the road; drafted utility, stormwater management and grading plans; and conducted a construction cost analysis of the project. This collaborative project resulted in a comprehensive report that has provided the necessary information for the property owners to make an informed and impactful decision for moving the investment forward. “The Archway Executive Committee, local government officials and property owners were greatly impressed with the students’ recommendations and final design presentation,” said Angel Jackson, an operations coordinator with the Archway Partnership. “This real-world engineering project provided our students with the practical experiences of integrating the technical and fiscal constraints of a design while continuously communicating with a client,” said Dr. Stephan Durham, who co-teaches the capstone design course with fellow faculty member Dr. Jason Christian. This unique assignment falls under the capstone design project requirement for graduation from the College of Engineering. Candler County is one of 11 “portal counties” with which the UGA Archway Partnership collaborates. To learn more about the UGA Archway Partnership and additional capstone projects involving the College of Engineering, visit archwaypartnership.uga.edu.
Published by American Council of Engineering Companies of Georgia. View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://www.bluetoad.com/article/PROJECT+SPOTLIGHT%3A/2276014/273723/article.html.