August 26, 2014
This summer, a team of Georgia Tech engineering students drew up plans for a parking lot and road at Johns Creek's Shakerag Park that will eventually allow patrons to park near ball fields.
Four Georgia Tech seniors designed the 60-space parking lot, and the 2,000-foot road leading to it. They also had to design a drainage and grading plan. Among the challenges they faced were maximizing the number of parking spaces, working around a detention pond, avoiding a 50-foot buffer to a nearby creek, and making sure silt didn't wash into the creek.
"There were a lot of variables we thought would be good experience," said Johns Creek Public Works Director Tom Black. "We gave them some guidelines and suggestions. They took them and produced a good design."
Kendall Mayo, a civil engineering major at Georgia Tech, said he learned a lot doing the project.
"We had to take our theoretical knowledge and apply it on a practical level," Mayo said. "We had to learn about drainage, and we had to learn different kinds of 3-D software. And we learned the value of communication, making sure everyone is clear on what everyone else is doing. It was a great experience."
Jon Drysdale, a Georgia Tech professor and an engineer with Lowe Engineers, a City contractor, contacted City officials last spring about having the students work on a City project. The parking lot and road seemed like a good fit.
The arrangement was part of a Georgia Tech program called Capstone Engineering. Students participating in the program were Danielle Alexandra Rodriguez, Joshua Todd Hallock, Lucas Gabriel Cabarcos, and Kendall Barber-Mayo.
Construction of the parking lot and road is tentatively planned for 2015.