SIU Architecture Joins Harrisburg's Rebuilding Efforts

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By Sam Smith

HARRISBURG -- SIU Architecture students and faculty are doing their part in Harrisburg.

Mark Mathis lived in his home for 18 years. After the leap day storm, It's a total loss.

"The house was picked up and it was racked and then it was set back down," describes Mathis.

Now, Mathis is trying to decide whether to rebuild or move, and he's listening close to what architecture professor Jon Davey has to say.

"They are bringing a ton of resources here, they are taking measurements, they are giving us suggestions as far as which direction to build. They are giving us suggestions as far as what the elevations need to be," says Mathis.

This was Davey's first trip into Harrisburg since the tornado. His firsthand look at the devastation has astounded him.

"I've been around to many third world countries and I've seen a lot of poverty but I've never seen this kind of destruction before at all," says Davey.

Over the next week, the group will split time between visiting damaged homes and working in its studio set up in the basement of the Harrisburg Public Library.

Davey says it's all about developing a clear architectural program to rebuild new homes and exploring new options to make the homes better than before.

"These storms are horrible but they do give us an opportunity to start again. And it's not starting to build the same old methods, we can actually build greener, sustainable materials in consideration of solar gain," says Davey.

The architecture group will be in the library until Saturday, March 17th.

March 11, 2012 1pm to 3pm
March 12, 2012 9am to 3pm
March 13, 2012 9am to 3pm
March 14, 2012 9am to 3pm
March 15, 2012 9am to 3pm
March 16, 2012 9am to 3pm
March 17, 2012 10am to 3pm
Marion Regional
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