2016 - Architectural designer Kathy Lent is quick to praise the contributions of other team members, but she can also trace her own increasing role over the course of eight pro bono projects in five years. One of her first projects, a conceptual design to reuse a vacant, mid-century modern middle school (and former synagogue) in Wynnefield, she says, “I felt like an integral design team member. I got to help with the site survey, design and drawing production, coordination with project engineers, and presentations at stakeholder meetings.”
More recently, as a volunteer on the project team leading a “blitz build” for the Athletic Recreation Center in Sharswood Kathy got additional hands-on experience, “Each of the design team members was assigned to one of the spaces and a team of volunteers. We reviewed the plans and assigned tasks. It was amazing how everyone jumped in, and I'm glad that so many skilled folks were able to lend their expertise. It's one thing to draw a room layout and another to have skilled volunteers install cabinets, countertop, tile backsplash, shelving, and teaching boards in a few hours!”
It was a rare opportunity to walk in, imagine the improvements, and then see everything in place in just a few months. We got to return to the center after the blitz build and see the kids enjoying the space created for them. It was really cool to see the before and after.
Kathy received the Collaborative's 2016 You Can Count on Me Award for exemplary and continuing commitment to community design.