Sunshine High School in Newbern, Ala., closed its doors for good two years ago. But the town’s 186 residents didn’t just lose a school, they lost a library — the only one for miles around.
Luckily, Newbern is home to Rural Studio, a design-build program within Auburn University’s School of Architecture. Following the principle that “everyone, both rich and poor, deserves the benefit of good design,” Rural Studio set out to build Newbern a new library.
Students repurposed an old bank building donated by a local family, reusing many of the original materials. Wood that was part of the teller’s counter was made into the librarian’s desk, bricks from the vault are now part of a patio wall and the original vault door is on display in the front window.