Central Coast Architectural Students Work On Vision To Rebuild Norcal Community Hit By Brush Fire

Feb 11, 2019

It’s the deadliest fire in California history. The Camp Fire killed more than 80 people, and destroyed nearly 14,000 homes. But, some Central Coast architectural students are involved in a project to help the devastated city of Paradise come up with a vision for rebuilding.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Comprehensive Design Studio Program is taking part in the “Reimagine Paradise” effort. The Cal Poly team is working with Chico State and Montana State students in developing a plan which includes everything from the best placement of streets, to where housing and business districts should be located.

Cal Poly faculty member Stacey White is overseeing the visioning effort along with fellow faculty member Kent McDonald. She says it’s an academic effort but with real world results. White says at the end of the project in June, the architectural students will have produced a virtual reality version of the community residents can use as they decide what they want a rebuilt City of Paradise to include.

Students working on the project say after seeing the damage, and meeting fire survivors, this project has special meaning to them. The students will travel back to Paradise later this month to do a progress report for residents.

They make another trip in April before presenting the final conceptual designs in June.