The Design Center provides planning and design assistance to communities and non-profit organizations throughout the Commonwealth that are unable to afford the services of a private consultant, or are not ready to hire a consultant. The underlying philosophy behind our work is Healthy Living by Design which means creating designs that take into consideration factors that help create healthy environments. This includes aspects such as the physical, psychological, and intellectual well-being of users as well as the health of the environment. Project work is focused on planning and design assistance that affords healthy living opportunities such as conceptual open space master plans and greenway designs; creating landscape designs for outdoor learning opportunities; creating rain garden designs that reduce and filter stormwater run-off; and conceptual architectural designs that incorporate aspects of “green” architecture such as green roofs, daylighting, and recommendations for sustainable materials.

The Virginia Department of Forestry has recognized the importance of Healthy Living by Design and has partnered with the Design Center to provide grants to communities seeking urban forestry related planning and design assistance. Many thanks are due for this forwarding thinking partnership that has assisted so many communities throughout the Commonwealth.

Design Center work also embodies a sensitivity to the region’s history, whether regional or local. One example of this is our recent Lost Communities of Virginia publication that highlights a cross-section of once thriving communities from throughout the state.

Collections in this community

Recent Submissions

  • Cobbs Creek Reservoir Study Area Site Analysis 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth; Steika, Kim; Kirkpatrick, Ryan; Visconti, Autumn; Xu, Yining (2008-09-30)
    The Community Design Assistance Center (CDAC) was charged, as a part of the Virginia Tech/Virginia Commonwealth University project team, to prepare a site analysis for a study area of approximately 1000 feet around the ...
  • Conceptual Master Plan for the Pennington Gap - Stone Mountain Trail System 

    Steika, Kim; Owen, Timothy; Rodes, Doug; Rosso, Nathan (2008-05-30)
    The Community Design Assistance Center worked with the Town of Pennington Gap, Lee County, and the Stone Mountain ATV Club to develop a conceptual master plan for a recreational ATV trail system. The trail system is intended ...
  • Scenery Management Study of Claytor Lake 

    Miller, Patrick; Lui, Song; Gilboy, Elizabeth; Steika, Kim; Calorusso, Christine; Philen, Melissa; Abu Bakar, Shamsul; Chen, Zheng; Xu, Yining (2009-05-01)
    This study focuses on Claytor Lake in Pulaski County, Virginia. Claytor Lake is an important water-oriented recreation destination in Southwest Virginia, as well as being home to many local residents. The scenic experience ...
  • Scenic River Evaluation Projects: Clinch and Dan Rivers 

    Browning, Lara; Gilboy, Elizabeth; Jessup, Jen; Shealy, Kaitlin (2015-01-30)
    The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) provides field work and evaluative documentation for qualifying Virginia jurisdictions who seek to designate local rivers in the state’s Scenic River Designation ...
  • St. Paul, VA: Conceptual Redevelopment Plan for the Ice House 

    Proctor, Nicholaus; Gilboy, Elizabeth; Tucker, Lisa (2021-07)
    The Community Design Assistance Center and Cardno, the environmental consultant working with CDAC, worked with a Stakeholders Committee formed by St Paul Tomorrow, Inc. to create a redevelopment plan for the former ice ...
  • St. Paul, VA: Conceptual Redevelopment Plan for the Western Front Building 

    Proctor, Nicholaus; Gilboy, Elizabeth; Tucker, Lisa (2021-06-29)
    The Community Design Assistance Center and Cardno worked with a Stakeholders Committee formed by St Paul Tomorrow, Inc. to create a redevelopment plan for the Western Front building on Riverside Drive. The “Western Front ...
  • Greenbrier County, WV: Sports Complex & Park Conceptual Master Plan 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth; Jones, Alexander; Stroud, Patricia; Williams, Daphne; Zhong, Cen (2016-10)
  • Russell County Fairgrounds Commercial Building Conceptual Improvements and Master Tree Planting Plan 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth; Jones, Kevin; Williams, Daphne; Dasgupta, Archi; Nautiyal, Divya; Stroud, Patricia; Thomas, Andrea (2016-08)
    Russell County, with a population of around 28,300, is considered “The Heart of Southwest Virginia.” The +/- 13-acre fairground site is located in Castlewood on Donnie Dean Drive. The fairgrounds highlight the Appalachian ...
  • Design Guidelines for Downtown Narrows 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth; Budic, Zorica; Denise, Alexander; Rich, Bourbonnaise; Karla, Brock; Chaya, Prabhu (1993-12-31)
    Similar to many communities across the country, the town of Narrows' Commercial District has been experiencing economic and physical decline for quite some time. A recent survey suggests that over half of all commercial, ...
  • Whitetop, VA: Conceptual Redevelopment Plan for the Mount Rogers School and Conceptual Site Master Plan 

    Proctor, Nicholaus; Gilboy, Elizabeth; Diioia, Katelyn; Williams, Merryn; Troia, Joey; Hutchings, Madison; Tucker, Lisa (2021-04-19)
    The original four-room Mount Rogers Combined School was built around 1932 in Whitetop, which was mainly a farming community settled in the early 1800s. The 2,200 square foot building sits on approximately 5 acres of land ...
  • Russell County, VA: Conceptual Neighborhood Site Master Plan for the Public Services Authority Site 

    Proctor, Nicholaus; Gilboy, Elizabeth; Harrington, Hayley; Morris, Jacob (2021-09-30)
    The Community Design Assistance Center worked with a Stakeholders Committee to create a conceptual redevelopment plan for the Russell County PSA property located on Water Lane off of Route 63 and just outside the St. Paul ...
  • Pound, VA: Conceptual Trailhead Design for the Former Bank Building Property and Conceptual Town Connectivity Plan 

    Proctor, Nicholaus; Gilboy, Elizabeth; Worley, Sam; Potter, Abby (2021-09-29)
    Downtown Pound, VA is generally located near the intersection of Main Street and Clintwood Highway. At this intersection is a vacated bank building, which may contain asbestos containing materials and/or lead-based paint ...
  • Luray, VA: Andrew Jackson School Memorial Park Conceptual Site Master Plan 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth; Harrington, Hayley; Harrell, Sara; Proctor, Nicholaus (2021-11-08)
    The West Luray Recreation Center is a former Rosenwald school that has been converted into a community-based recreation center. The community center is privately owned and operated in partnership with Living Legacy, a local ...
  • Courtland, VA: Helping Hand Cemetery Conceptual Site Master Plan 

    Proctor, Nicholaus; Gilboy, Elizabeth (2021-08-31)
    The Helping Hand Cemetery Club has been involved in a number of projects to date to improve the cemetery, including in part, continued maintenance, obtaining a grant through the VA Department of Historic Resources for the ...
  • Clinchco, VA: Town-Wide and Downtown Conceptual Master Plans 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth; Proctor, Nicholaus; Harrell, Sara; Harrington, Hayley (2021-09-30)
    Clinchco, Virginia is a small community of about 350 people located in the northern portion of Dickenson County in the valley of the McClure River and near the West Virginia line. It is accessed by Routes 63 and 83, which ...
  • Rustburg, VA: Campbell County Training School Complex Conceptual Site Master Plan 

    Proctor, Nicholaus; Gilboy, Elizabeth (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2021-03-18)
    The Community Design Assistance Center worked with the Campbell County Training School Complex to develop a conceptual site master plan for their property. The guiding concept for the Campbell County Training School ...
  • Luray, VA: Conceptual Plan for the Page County Community Space 

    Proctor, Nicholaus; Gilboy, Elizabeth (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2020-12-10)
    Page County has a 10-acre undeveloped parcel located in the Town of Luray limits. This gateway parcel has frontage off of HWY 211 going east toward Shenandoah National Park and Route 340 South into the Luray’s Main Street ...
  • Honaker, VA: Conceptual Redevelopment Plan for the Slate Building Property Final Report 

    Proctor, Nicholaus; Gilboy, Elizabeth (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2020-03-12)
    The purpose of this project was to work with a Stakeholders Committee and the community from the Town of Honaker to create a conceptual redevelopment plan for the Slate building property located on South Railroad Avenue.
  • Sun, VA: Conceptual Redevelopment Plan for the Former Sun Motors Property 

    Proctor, Nicholaus; Gilboy, Elizabeth (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2020-09-22)
    The Community Design Assistance Center (CDAC) of Virginia Tech received a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields Assessment grant to assess and help communities develop conceptual redevelopment plans for ...
  • Smithfield, VA: Windsor Castle Park Longleaf Pine Demonstration Area Conceptual Site Master Plan 

    Proctor, Nicholaus; Gilboy, Elizabeth (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2020-08-28)
    The Windsor Castle Park Foundation, in collaboration with Windsor Castle Park and the Town of Smithfield, have been working on the Windsor Castle Park Longleaf Pine Restoration Initiative and identified the need for a ...

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