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

  • Smithfield, VA: Windsor Castle Park Longleaf Pine Demonstration Area Expansion Conceptual Site Master Plan 

    Harrington, Hayley (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2022-12)
    In 2014, the Town of Smithfield, the non-profit Windsor Castle Park Foundation, and representatives of the Virginia Department of Forestry decided to explore the possibility of creating a forest of native species on ...
  • New Castle, VA: New Castle Town Park Conceptual Site Master Plan 

    Harrington, Hayley (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2022-12)
    The New Castle Town Park has a 30 year old park located near the corner of Route 311 (Salem Ave) and Caldwell Street that is in need of updating. The Community Design Assistance Center (CDAC) worked with Town Council to ...
  • A Conceptual Master Plan for Dickenson Memorial Park 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth; Watson, Kim; Dawson, Michele; Lee, Ok-Hyun; Tofte, Shawn (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2004-01)
    Located about 20 miles south of Fredericksburg, Bowling Green has been the County seat of Caroline County since 1803. The community of about 1,000 is rich in history which is evident from its many historic structures. The ...
  • Tekoa Boys' Home Campus Master Plan and Courtyard Design 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth; Watson, Kim; Millard, Ryan; Solis, Linda (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2004-10)
    Tekoa Boys’ Home is a recently constructed facility in Christiansburg, Virginia that provides licensed residential treatment, counseling, and special education to at-risk boys aged 12-17, in need of out-of-the-home placement. ...
  • Conceptual Design for the Expansion of the Salem Museum 

    Fisher, Terri; Gilboy, Elizabeth; Feuerstein, Marcia; Lee, Ok-hyun H. (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2004-10)
    The Salem Museum, located in the historic Williams-Brown House/Store in Salem, Virginia, was in need of an expansion to improve the public and operational spaces as well as to bring the museum into compliance with ADA ...
  • Median Planting Plan Staunton I-81/Route 250 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth; Watson, Kim; Wolfe, Brian (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2004-12)
    City developed and began implementation of a landscape master plan. This included all entryways into the city and the greenspaces within. The master plan is geared toward creating a sense of color and continuity. The ...
  • Jubilee Park: A Conceptual Master Plan Prepared for the Ivanhoe Civic League 

    Watson, Kim; Roser, Sherry; Holloway, Lew (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2005-08)
    Ivanhoe is a small, rural community located in Southwest Virginia near Cripple Creek, which enters the New River in the Blue Ridge Mountains. After using a Wythe County property as park space for nearly a decade and a half, ...
  • "A" Street Linear Park 

    Watson, Kim; Cappelleri, Brandon; Hershey, Jon (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2006-05)
    The proposed “A” Street Linear Park is located in Abingdon, Virginia on a narrow 3.5 acre strip of land adjacent to the Norfolk Southern rail line and “A” Street. The purpose of this project was to develop a park design ...
  • Abingdon Elementary School Discovery Trail 

    Watson, Kim; Parvinia, Mandana; Brown, Nathan (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2006-02)
    Outdoor classrooms are fast becoming a popular installation at public and private elementary, intermediate, and high schools across the country. The idea behind an outdoor classroom is to bring the classroom learning into ...
  • Charlottesville Waldorf School Conceptual Site Master Plan and Trail System 

    Watson, Kim; Cappelleri, Brandon; Homyk, John; Belski, Kate (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2006-09)
    In 2006, the Charlottesville Waldorf School (CWS) is building a new elementary school facility on thirteen acres in Charlottesville. The building is being designed by SOURCE architects to achieve a LEED “platinum” ...
  • Christiansburg - Blacksburg Rotary Rain Garden at Wong Park 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth; Watson, Kim; Fisher, Terri (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2006-05)
  • Danville North Main Community Plaza Conceptual Master Plan 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth; Watson, Kim; Koliji, Hooman (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2006-04)
    The North Main neighborhood is one of the oldest in the City of Danville. The neighborhood is largely residential, with several pockets of small scale retail and service activities located primarily along the Main Street ...
  • Conceptual Trail Corridor Plan for Floyd County 

    Watson, Kim; Brodhag, Emily; Malu, Karishma; Sarker, Riya (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2006-12)
    Floyd County, located in the Blue Ridge province of the southwestern part of Virginia, is a major crossroads of cultural and heritage tourism. Rolling hills, with valleys and ridges, stretches of grazing lands, and acres ...
  • Buchanan County Public Library Conceptual Landscape Redevelopment 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth; Watson, Kim; Ellis, Amber; Osborn, Christina (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2006-05)
    Located in rural southwest Virginia in the county seat of Grundy, off of State Route 460 on the Levisa Fork River, is the Buchanan County Public Library, which serves the county’s population of 27,000. The library is not ...
  • Strasburg Streetscape Master Plan 

    Watson, Kim; Gilboy, Elizabeth; Galloway, Jason; Lahy, Nathan (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2006-06)
    The Town of Strasburg is nestled in the valley of the Shenandoah River, Massanutten Mountain, and the Allegheny foothills. The Town is the largest of the six communities in Shenandoah County and is located at the crossroads ...
  • Conceptual Landscape Master Plan for Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity 

    Steika, Kim; Grossman, Mara; O'Donohoue, Kent (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2008-10)
    Alpha Gamma Rho is social and professional Agricultural fraternity that seeks to provide its members with opportunities for social interaction and professional development as they pursue careers in agriculture, food, or ...
  • Radford 2007 Pathways Master Plan 

    Watson, Kim; Belcher, Will; Shern, Chris (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2007)
    Pathways for Radford is a citizens’ group that promotes bikeways, walkways, and trails in the Radford area. The group, in conjunction with the City of Radford, was interested in developing a plan that could help guide them ...
  • Ervinton High School Outdoor Classroom 

    Watson, Kim; Henry, Christopher; Rodes, Doug; Whitehouse, Jacob (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2007-05)
    The Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and Upper Tennessee River Roundtable asked the Community Design Assistance Center (CDAC) to assist them with the design of an outdoor classroom. The two groups desired the ...
  • Rustburg, VA: Campbell County Training School Complex Restoration Project Conceptual Design and Conceptual Site Master Plan Executive Summary 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth; Morris, Jacob (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2022-07-01)
    The Campbell County Training School Complex, also originally known as the Rustburg School, is located on an 8.81-acre parcel in the town of Rustburg in Campbell County at 1470 Village Highway. The training school complex ...
  • Rustburg, VA: Campbell County Training School Complex Restoration Project Conceptual Design and Conceptual Site Master Plan 

    Gilboy, Elizabeth; Morris, Jacob (Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center, 2022-07-01)
    The Campbell County Training School Complex, also originally known as the Rustburg School, is located on an 8.81-acre parcel in the town of Rustburg in Campbell County at 1470 Village Highway. The training school complex ...

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