Turning a Dream into Reality: Architecture Students Build Real Life Medical Center from Scratch

Architecture students taking the first steps in the project, painting the first layer or primer onto the container.

After coming back to school after this seemingly short spring break you may have noticed a large and rectangular metal container outside near the bus loop. Well, this hunk of metal is more than meets the eye. This object is actually a supply/shipping container that is used on boats frequently to ship supplies across the world, and that is exactly what Mr. Clark and his Architecture class here at school plan to use to make a difference in this world.

    “This is the second one that’s been done in Louisville,” said Clark. Clark talked with Bart Wear on the site of the other supply container which was off of 95th street near Mountain High Appliance, and has now been sent to Africa, “Hey, school would really be a great place to do one,” said Wear, the Director of Homes of Living Hope, the organization working with Mr Clark on this project. This is the third container that he has done.

    Although the exact location is still undecided, this container is “going to a part of Mexico City with urban blight and poverty,” said Clark. “There is just no access to medical care there.”

    The container is currently empty, but is being filled with size efficient structures and a variety of medical supplies that are being donated. As far as the design of the container goes, Clark’s first period architecture class has been responsible. “What we’ve been doing for the last two months is working with architectural software to plan it out,” said Clark. Real life applications have been used in the making of this project too, as they are going to cut a scale laser model of their interior design. “There will be three rooms,” said Clark, “a medical clinic on one side, dental clinic on the other, and a pharmacy in the middle.”

     “I had no idea I would be doing this when I signed up,” said senior Bella Figueroa. Figueroa has always been “interested in being an architect” so she signed up for the semester long class, and is “glad to have signed up for the class.” “I worked with a couple others kids on the design of it, and now we’re all kinda taking our own roles in the design,” said Figueroa. She is currently working on the painting part of the project, painting primer (white paint) over the copper-like color of it, while others in the class are focused on the interior design of it such as “hanging the drywall.”

    Sophomore Noah Gambee says that “engineering has always been something interesting” to him. Gambee’s role in this project has involved a large amount of computer design work with different software.

    “I came into the class not knowing how to use any of the software programs and now I’ve made an entire three-dimensional model of what our product is going to look like,” said Gambee. He’s really the one “making all the numbers on the computer,” while the others are involved in the setup of the interior of the container.

    Gambee is also aware of the other which was sent to Africa that was in Louisville, and claimed it helps “about 250 people a day.” “It’s pretty crazy the impact this little medical clinic could have.”

    “They’ll be out there first period building,” said Clark. The Robotics team as well as the Art Club are currently working with Clark to paint the outside and possibly do some work on the inside. “There’s an awful lot of room to get involved,” said Clark.