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

  • Patrick Robert Sydnor Civil War Era Historic Site + Log Cabin 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Browning, Lara; Korkuti, Arian; Im, JooWon; Rollins, Michael; Smith, Liam; Young, Colby; Walker, Harley (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2013-08)
    The Patrick Robert Sydnor Civil War Era Historic Site and Log Cabin are located in Mecklenburg County, Virginia near routes 15 and 58. Surrounded by wooded lots and farmland, the rural setting complements the historic ...
  • Bedford Elks Lodge conceptual design : Prepared by the Community Design Assistance Center for the Bedford Elks Lodge #2844, Bedford, Virginia 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Steika, Kim; Korkuti, Arian; Fields, Kristin; Marshall, Ashleigh; Meier, Kerry (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2011-03)
    The Elks Lodge #2844 of Bedford, Virginia hired the Community Design Assistance Center (CDAC) to develop a conceptual architectural design and site plan for a new Elks lodge. The Bedford Elks recently purchased a 5-acre ...
  • Royal Shenandoah Greenway conceptual master plan : prepared for the Front Royal Tree Stewards, the town of Front Royal, and Warren County, May 2009 

    Steika, Kim; Furedy, Eliza; Xu, Yining (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2009-05)
    The Community Design Assistance Center (CDAC) was asked by the Front Royal Tree Stewards, in conjunction with the Town of Front Royal, to develop a conceptual master plan for a greenway. The Royal Shenandoah Greenway, that ...
  • Conceptual master plan for Boxerwood Nature Center and Woodland Garden 

    Steika, Kim; Doran, Lauren; Hipp, Kent; Wallace, I. Caroline (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2008)
    The CDAC design team began the project with an initial site visit and tour of Boxerwood with staff members Hunter Mohring and Karen Bailey. The CDAC team photographed the site as they learned about the many spaces, places, ...
  • Dante Multi-Purpose Trail: Conceptual Master Plan 

    Steika, Kim; Hipp, Kent; Spratley, Cotter (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2009-03)
    Dante is a small community in Russell County, Virginia. Although today its population does not exceed 1000, it was once a thriving community rich from the abundance of coal layered in the mountains. The community boasted ...
  • Blacksburg Freshwater Heritage: A Conceptual Plan to Highlight History, Heritage and Environmental Stewardship at Owens Street, Spout Springs, and Five Chimneys Park 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Steika, Kim; Visconti, Autumn; Franklin, Josh (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2009-06)
    The Community Design Assistance Center worked with a team of project stakeholders to develop conceptual master plans for three town-owned properties: Spout Spring Park, Five Chimneys Park, and Owens Park. Each site contains ...
  • Cleveland Elementary School Site Redesign + Cleveland Ball Park Redesign + Riverwalk Conceptual Designs 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Browning, Lara; Korkuti, Arian; Jessup, Jen; Walker, Harley; Wan, Mingchao (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2014-01)
    Cleveland is a community of approximately 130 people located in Russell County in southwest Virginia. The Town is situated on the Clinch River, one of most biodiverse rivers in North America. The Clinch has more species ...
  • Abner Clay Park Conceptual Master Plan 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Steika, Kim; Sexton, Adam; Wallace, Caroline (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2010-05)
    Abner Clay Park is a neighborhood park in Historic Jackson Ward that occupies a portion of the block bounded by Brooks Road, Clay Street, Leigh Street, and Adams Street. Current park amenities include a tot lot, tennis ...
  • Pellissippi Wetland Park 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Steika, Kim; Grossman, Mara; Langston, Daniel; Ramesh, Shalini (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2010-04)
    The proposed Pellissippi Wetland Park is located in heart of Lebanon, Virginia, county seat for Russell County. The site is immediately adjacent to the Russell County Government Center as well as a proposed farmer's market ...
  • Ed Good Memorial Park Conceptual Master Plan 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Steika, Kim; Gan, Naixuan; Zhang, Yanting; West, William; Poteet, Tish (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2010-07)
    Stanley is a small Virginia town of approximately 1,400 people nestled in the Shenandoah Valley in Page County. The Ed Good Memorial Park is located in downtown Stanley. It is the site of the Town of Stanley's annual ...
  • Montgomery County Outdoor Classroom and Learning Landscape Conceptual Master Plan 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Steika, Kim; Ling, Daniel (Yu); Xu, Yining (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2010-06)
    The Izaak Walton League (IWL) is a national organization "formed in 1922 to save outdoor America for future generations. The League's founders, who were avid anglers, chose to name the organization after Izaak Walton, the ...
  • Dayton Greenway Conceptual Master Plan 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Philen, Melissa; Stroud, Patricia; Thomas, Andrea; Williams, Daphne; Alves, Elena; Zhong, Cen (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2016-06)
    The Town of Dayton, with a population of just over 1,500 in 2013, is one of the oldest settled communities in Rockingham County and the county's second oldest incorporated town. Formed in 1778 from Augusta County, Rockingham ...
  • Northwest Montgomery Village Center Foundation Community Design Workshop Summary : Exploring the Reuse of Prices Fork Elementary School 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Steika, Kim; Clark, Harvey; Heile, Laurel (Virginia Tech. Center for Community Design Assistance, 2010-11)
    The current Prices Fork Elementary School, built in 1952, will soon be closed and replaced with a new school that is being built just a few blocks down the road. Citizens of the communities in Northwest Montgomery County ...
  • Meadowbrook Center conceptual landscape master plan 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Steika, Kim; Philen, Melissa; Poteet, Tish; Rexrode, Amanda; West, William (Virginia Tech. Center for Community Design Assistance, 2010-07)
    The Meadowbrook Center is a public-private partnership between the Mountain Valley Charitable Foundation (MVCF) and Montgomery County. The facility is owned by the county and leased to MVCF with the exception of the library, ...
  • Wildwood interchange design : Exit 19 - Interstate 77, Carroll County, Virginia 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Steika, Kim; Clough, Jordan; Grossman, Mara; Wallace, I. Caroline (Virginia Tech. Center for Community Design Assistance, 2009-07)
    “Carroll County is located in Southwestern Virginia. It is bordered by Patrick County to the southeast, Floyd County to the east, Pulaski and Wythe Counties to the north, Grayson County and the City of Galax to the west, ...
  • Mount Tabor Meadows common space conceptual master plan, Blacksburg, Virginia 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Steika, Kim; Illmensee, Kaitlyn; Marshall, Ashleigh; West, William (Virginia Tech. Center for Community Design Assistance, 2010-08)
    The Community Design Assistance Center (CDAC) worked with the Mount Tabor Meadows (MTM) community to develop a conceptual master plan of their vision for a new and sustainable use for the community’s underutilized common ...
  • Greene County Community Park Stormwater Master Plan : A supplement to the park master plan 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Steika, Kim; Marshall, Ashleigh (Virginia Tech. Center for Community Design Assistance, 2010-10)
    The Community Design Assistance Center (CDAC) worked with Greene County in 1998 to develop a conceptual master plan for Greene County Community Park. In 2008, CDAC worked with the County Parks and Recreation Advisory ...
  • Wise County nature and fitness trail, Wise County, Virginia 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Browning, Lara; Burg, Gardner; Cooper, Kyle; Davis, Brad; Dunne, Peter (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2013-06)
    Approximately 40 acres of land and a house located in the Town of Wise were bequeathed to the Wise County Industrial Development Authority by Carol Buchanan with the understanding and intent that it be used as a sanctuary ...
  • Woodstock gateway enhancements : conceptual design 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Browning, Lara; Denney, Nicholas; Mascola, Greg (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2013)
    The Town of Woodstock requested assistance in creating an attractive gateway to the Town that is more welcoming to visitors. Although the Route 42 corridor is convenient for travelers to make a quick stop, the Town would ...
  • Waynesboro Ridgeview Park, greenway, and trailhead conceptual design 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth Truex; Browning, Lara; Browning, Matthew; Dunn, Matthew; Walker, Harley (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2014-01)
    Waynesboro, located three miles from the junction of Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Appalachian Trail, is a hub for outdoor recreation. In recent years, the City has made efforts ...

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