Our renovation of the Arthur R. Edington Center (formerly W.C. Reid Center) transformed an under-utilized building into a valued community amenity. Located just south of downtown Asheville, the Edington Center is now a place where people from “Southside” and the surrounding neighborhoods can access education, job training, support services and other resources that will help them achieve greater self-sufficiency and empowerment.
This project provides a prime example of our participatory design process, in which we collaborate with stakeholders and end-users to generate a building’s program. Through public and private meetings, we sought input from the Southside Community Advisory Board, the Housing Authority of the City of Asheville, Green Opportunities, Partners Unlimited, Uptime Sports Management, Urban Arts Institute, AB Tech, Community Action Opportunities, Housing Authority Residents’ Council and the City of Asheville.
Through an extensive renovation, which touched almost every inch of the 36,000 square-foot building, we converted the space into the new Education and Green Jobs Training Center. Improvements included a complete roof replacement, total window and door replacement, replacement of the existing HVAC system with a 27-well geothermal system, new lighting and electrical systems, new plumbing and restrooms, a rainwater collection system, new finishes throughout the building, a new commercial kitchen for the “GO Kitchen Ready” culinary training program, site rain gardens, and a new large community garden. We are currently designing the second phase of the renovation, which will transform the original auditorium into a community room and black box theater.
Landscape Architect: Sitework Studios
Structural Engineer: Medlock Engineering
PME Engineer: Essential Systems Engineers
Civil Engineer: Civil Design Concepts
Photographer: J. Weiland