Students designs help rural church rise from the ashes

Congregation expresses admiration for students' character as well as their designs

After being destroyed by fire, the Singleton Bible Fellowship Church of Singleton, Texas, is getting a new lease on life, thanks to architecture students from Texas A&M University who developed design concepts for the new church.

The 17 students were members of an architectural design studio class instructed by architecture professor George J. Mann. The students presented their final designs — consisting of models and drawings — to the Singleton community at an October 7 gathering in the fellowship hall of the Singleton Bible Fellowship.

“It’s really been a blessing to get to be associated with students like these,” said Floyd Hoke, pastor of the church. “I don’t know if I could have gone anywhere else in the United States and found a group more impressive. They may be young, but their professionalism and dedication shines through.”

The opportunity to help rebuild the church was suggested by Jim Singleton, a practicing architect in College Station and a graduate of Texas A&M. Singleton, who recently designed the Texas A&M Athletics Sports Museum located in The Zone at Kyle Field, was contacted by Mann about potential projects for his class. Singleton contacted Hoke about getting the group of students involved.

“Looking at the quality of these projects, it’s obvious that these students have worked days, nights and weekends, sacrificing a lot of their private time to get the job done,” Singleton said. “I feel good because it’s a situation where everybody wins, the church, the College of Architecture, Texas A&M and the students. The best thing about the project is that the students get to have input into what is going to be a real building. Their enthusiasm and energy have really inspired the members of the church in their efforts.”

“These multiple exposures to the actual practice of architecture involving an actual client on an actual site have enriched the students’ learning experience and helped to prepare them for the real world of architecture,” said Mann, the Ronald L. Skaggs Endowed Professor of Health Facilities Design.

The students, Mann noted, also had interdisciplinary input from other Texas A&M faculty members including Jody Rosenblatt Naderi, an assistant professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, and David Dubbelde, a lecturer in the Department of Construction Science.

“These students and their advisers are a tremendous asset to Texas A&M,” Hoke said.

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