Construction Students Partner with Nonprofit to Build Outdoor Learning Center at Birmingham City Elementary School

July 26, 2017

Brasfield & Gorrie co-ops, interns and employees partner with YouthServe to build box gardens and an outdoor learning center at local elementary school to promote sustainability

Birmingham, Ala. (July 26, 2017) – As part of their training and education experience at Brasfield & Gorrie, co-ops and interns joined local organization YouthServe on July 21, 2017, to build an outdoor learning center and box gardens at Bertram A. Hudson K-8 School, a Birmingham City school located in a community impacted by environmental effects of pollution.

Bertram A. Hudson K-8 School is an elementary school near the Collegeville community. Current and past industrial activities in the area have affected the environment, leading to the Environmental Protection Agency’s involvement in the community. High pollution levels have contaminated the soil, making it difficult for residents to grow fresh food and limiting outdoor learning opportunities for students.

In past months, a group of Hudson students has worked to raise awareness of the issue. The Hudson Student Changemakers Council fundraised in hopes of transforming land behind their school into an outdoor learning area.

“The ChangeMaker Council, a group of students supported by a partnership between YouthServe and the Birmingham Education Foundation, realized their school needed this project, and they began thinking of design and, of course, cost. It was not until the intervention of Brasfield & Gorrie that their dream became a possibility,” said YouthServe Executive Director Jennifer Hatchett. “What a beautiful way for so many partners to come together to make positive change in our city!”

During the July 21, 2017, workday, co-ops, interns and employees from general contractor Brasfield & Gorrie joined YouthServe to help bring the students’ vision to life.

“It is our hope that Hudson students and members of the community will enjoy this outdoor learning space for years to come. This project provided a meaningful opportunity for us to partner with YouthServe while making an impact in two areas that are very important to our company: sustainability and student development,” said Brasfield & Gorrie Corporate Responsibility Manager Natalie Kelly.

As a result of these efforts, Hudson students will gain a safe area for outdoor activities where they will learn about agriculture, nutrition and the importance of environmental conservation. The area will also serve as a space that can host community events.

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About Brasfield & Gorrie

Founded in 1964, Brasfield & Gorrie is one of the nation’s largest privately held construction firms, providing general contracting, design-build, and construction management services for a wide variety of markets. We are skilled in construction best practices, including virtual design and construction, integrated project delivery, and Lean construction, but we are best known for our preconstruction and self-perform expertise and exceptional client service. Brasfield & Gorrie has 12 offices and approximately 2,600 employees. Our 2016 revenues were $2.4 billion. Engineering News-Record ranks Brasfield & Gorrie 30th among the nation’s “Top 400 Contractors” for 2017.

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