RIT Architecture Program Partners with Inner-City Agency for Community Center Plans

Master of Architecture students start plans for community center

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Students in RIT’s Master of Architecture program are in preliminary design phases for a proposed community and recreation center in Rochester.

The Master of Architecture program at Rochester Institute of Technology has only been around for a short time but is already turning stones in the Rochester community.

The program has answered the call of the Togetherness in Love Community Center of Rochester for plans in developing a schematic design and massing model for a proposed recreation and community center in the city.

“This is a great opportunity for our students to explore the global emphasis of sustainability and factors that impact urbanism within a real-world opportunity,” says Alex Bitterman, associate professor of architecture at RIT. “This is an important first step toward building a strong service-learning relationship between our program and the community.”

Nine students in the architecture program are developing models for a proposed mixed-use community center on East Main Street in Rochester. The students’ plans would center around an approximately 10,000-square-foot facility, which is restricted to building on only 60 percent of the site. This would require any proposed design to leave 40 percent green space for the community center.

The project is ongoing as the students complete the program at RIT and will be revisited in the future as students work toward completing their academic program.

The architecture program at RIT was concepted of a close relationship between the university and the professional design community in and around Rochester. The program, which is in its first year, focuses is one of only a few in the United States that focuses on sustainable design and building practices.

“Working on practical projects such as a community center is only going to keep this program moving forward as well as keeping it connected to the community,” says Dennis Andrejko, chair of the architecture program. “We’re excited that we can take the skills and knowledge critical to being a 21st century architect and apply those principals to the community at large.”