April 30, 2015

An ambitious community service home renovation project undertaken by a group of construction students from Texas State University (TSU) this spring could have ended differently, had it not been for a partnership formed among DPR, the students and Rebuilding Together to jointly tackle the job. Those combined efforts, and particularly the expertise of 23 DPR craft workers who went “all in” to help get a difficult job done over three days, ultimately led to a successful finish.

The TSU students took on the remodel of the Byas family home in San Marcos as its “2015 Boko’s Builders Remodel project,” an annual outreach by the University’s Construction Student Association to give back to the local community. The project was chosen based on need and positive impact that could be achieved renovating the home, which had fallen to neglect over the years housing several generations of the Byas family.

Photo credit: Malia Rae Photography

While the students knew the project was a greater challenge than previous Boko’s Builders projects, they quickly discovered just how large that challenge was. Myriad hidden problems were uncovered beneath the floorboard, behind the walls and above the ceiling of this 100-year-old home. The construction expertise required was far greater than the students had understood when they took on the job.

DPR learned about the project while recruiting on campus, just three weeks before the renovation was to happen. They quickly agreed to partner with the students along with Rebuilding Together to help complete the community service effort.

“It ended up being a giant project that frankly would have been very difficult for the students to complete if we hadn’t gotten involved,” says DPR Austin community initiatives liaison Angie Weyant. “Everything we touched started to crumble. The more we did, the more we found needed to be done. In the end it was a pretty giant overhaul of the house in just three days.”

Key to completing the project were the 23 DPR self-perform crew members who volunteered more than 175 volunteer hours during the weekend. Photo credit: Malia Rae Photography

DPR’s self-perform craft workers were integral to the success of the project, bringing the expertise needed to handle many of the complex tasks involved.

“This project really was the best way we’ve ever gotten our craft workers involved in one of our community projects,” Weyant notes. “I think they’re really excited about doing more community initiatives as a result!”

Photo credit: Malia Rae Photography

From the students’ perspective, the chance to work on site with and be mentored by the pros from DPR was priceless. Chase Jones of the TSU Construction Student Association thanked DPR for their involvement. “It was an amazing experience for everyone, and we look forward to working with DPR on future projects, and their involvement in our program!” 

From barely habitable to family homestead in three days. Photo credit: Malia Rae Photography