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About CDAC

Patsy Owens (seated, left center), founding CDAC Director, works with a student design team on one of the very first CDAC projects.

Black and white photo of the founding CDAC director and a student design team working on a project together at a table.
Patsy Owens (seated, left center), founding CDAC Director, works with a student design team on one of the very first CDAC projects.

The Community Design Assistance Center was established in 1988 through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education program.

The two main goals of establishing the center were to provide underserved communities throughout Virginia with low-cost planning and design assistance and to provide landscape architecture, architecture, planning, and building construction students with an opportunity for paid experience related to their future careers that also taught students about participatory design and planning processes.