UT architecture students roast pig to help those in need

Melissa Dooley, FBD Treasurer and Fundraiser, works with other architecture students to complete the build project.

Freedom by Design will host its annual pig roast tailgate as a fundraiser for their build project that helps families with disabilities.
Freedom by Design will host its annual pig roast tailgate on Oct. 5 as a fundraiser for their build project that helps families with disabilities.

Architecture students in Freedom by Design, a philanthropic sub-group of American Institute of Architecture Students, will host a pig roast BBQ tailgate for the football game against the University of Georgia this Saturday at 11 a.m. outside of the Art and Architecture Building on campus for the annual FDB fundraiser to make money to fund their yearly build project.

The pig will arrive on campus Thursday night and left in a slow cooker until BBQ is served at the tailgate. The majority of the items are donated to FBD such as the chips, drinks and deserts. After the tailgate, 100 percent of the proceeds will go toward a build project for a Knoxville family in need.

Each year, FBD students raise money for a build project servicing a low-income family experiencing everyday difficulties in their home because of physical disabilities.

FBD reaches out to local churches and an organization called Operation Backyard to find a family who is in need of some home remodeling to make their homes fit their physical needs. Once FBD finds a client, they work with the client to see what needs they have and then hold design charrettes for architecture students to come up with solutions to the client’s issues in their home.

During the competition, faculty and board members of FBD decide what design to use, often combining multiple students’ designs to generate the most ideal plan. The students then make construction documents and work with a local Knoxville contractor, Christopoulos and Kennedy, on the documents and plans. After that, build days are scheduled and architecture students in AIAS come out to help build the project.

This past year, the group was able help a disabled woman in a wheelchair who had severe difficulties accessing her home before FBD intervened. The group built her and her family a deck that wrapped around the house and a ramp out to the driveway. The architecture students also built her two, 20-feet-long planters for growing herbs and flowers that was just the right height for someone confined to a wheelchair.

This home was renovated not only to accommodate basic needs, but planters were also added for gardening at a wheelchair-accesible height.
This home was renovated not only to accommodate basic needs, but planters were also added for gardening at a wheelchair-accessible height.
Photo courtesy of AIAS Freedom by Design UTK

Melissa Dooley, a senior in the architecture program and treasurer and fundraiser for FBD, has found the experience of the build project to be a rewarding one.

“It’s a really good hands-on learning experience,” Dooley said. “In the classroom, we learn how everything is put together, but this gives us a real-world job to do. FBD has taught me how to work with clients, to see a project from start to finish, to work as a team with my group and board members, and most importantly how to be a leader.”

Not only has it given Dooley experience applicable to her future endeavors as an architect, it has also inspired her to give back to her community after she graduates.

“It’s given me a taste for philanthropic work and made me realize that I really love it. Whenever I’m successful one day, I’d love to give back to the community that has provided me with so many opportunities,” Dooley said.

Plates will be sold that day, Saturday, Oct. 5. A sandwich is $4 and a plate that includes sandwich, chips, drink and desert is $7. Cash and credit are accepted.

Melissa Dooley, FBD Treasurer and Fundraiser, works with other architecture students to complete the build project.
Melissa Dooley, FBD Treasurer and Fundraiser, works with other architecture students to complete the build project.
Photo courtesy of AIAS Freedom by Design UTK

 Edited by Gabrielle O’Neal