“When we arrived Friday, it was clear we would need to make adjustments to the design. For a start, lack of information about the site meant that we had assumed there would be at least an 8’x8′ level surface we could build the gazebo on, and our design followed that assumption. It wasn’t the case; the site was almost entirely sloped, so the support posts and bench connections had to be modified during construction.”
Trey Rice, Danielle Davis, and Valerie Stevens begin Community members assist the with removing the
construction on the gazebo bench addition. previous gazebo structure.
“Nevertheless, the students involved in the gazebo worked hard to prepare the site Friday evening, and toiled all day Saturday to set the foundations and construct the gazebo. A few of the men were able to chip in their help on Friday and Saturday as well, and it was wonderful to see the community join the students and participate in the action. The work was hot and challenging, but the gratitude of the community center leaders was overwhelmingly positive.”
Texas A&M graduate student Hector Ochoa and local Reynaldo Hinojosa assist with the gazebo construction.
“I was on the Pavilion Team but also had the opportunity to work with the Fish Mural. I felt that the adults/parents of the community center were immediately interested in the building process of the Pavilion and its unique waffle slab roof. They watched us build for almost the entire day as we adjusted and resolved problems that stemmed from the condition of the site.”
Tommy Bett digging for the gazebo foundation Students leveling the gazebo site
“It was an intense but invigorating experience to work with my fellow students on building something to that scale and in one day. It was a great opportunity for the team members to use their knowledge and problem solving skills to ensure that by the end of the day we accomplished what we set out to do.”
Students hard at work on the gazebo while others take a break from the harsh sun and hot temperature.
“Dr. Nichols was a great contribution in this; his construction knowledge and hands-on experience taught us a lot about efficiency and accuracy. ”
Chris Dilworth, Tommy Bett, and Hector Ochoa pour concrete for the gazebo foundation.
“Upon visiting the site I immediately recognized that many things that the kids were interacting with (such as the playground, the wooden structure that used to have benches on it, etc) were falling apart and dangerous. Therefore, I feel the pavilion we built will be a great addition to their center since it is brand new, safe, and constructed properly.”
Trey Rice and Professor John Nichols stand beneath the newly constructed gazebo arbor.
“As a bilingual student, I had more appreciation for the work that Peter Lang has brought to Las Lomas, I understood that this was not a charity event; instead it was an attempt to learn from a community close to the Mexican border and their way of living. I realized that there are people deeply involved in the development of a healthy community and they are committed to bring a sustainable mean for future generations.”
Heriberto Rodriguez Valenzuela
“After talking to the residents of Las Lomas, I knew that it was not for us to teach them a micro economy or to build a gazebo, it was more about us learning the developmental process of a community in an environment with difficulties of poverty and safety. I got to admit that I was a little skeptical about how everything was going to go down on the trip, however, I learned that plans are not always easy to fallow when dealing with people, we never thought we were be demolishing a rusted structure, or even listen to their opinions on proposals for land development at Las Lomas.”
Heriberto Rodriguez Valenzuela
The class poses for a picture beneath the gazebo.