3D Laser Scanning Services Used To Digitally Preserve Historic School

Pine Grove School Dates Back To Segregation Era

Pine Grove School is a historic all-black school in Cumberland, Virginia, dating back to segregation. After serving as a school, the building is now a defunct community center falling into disrepair in the mid-1990s. With a Canadian company ready to demolish the school and turn the property into a landfill, the University of Virginia’s Department of Anthropology is using 3D laser scanning services to preserve the school for prosperity. 

How 3D Laser Scanning Services Are Being Used To Preserve The School’s History

Will Rourk, a 3D scanning services specialist at the UVA Library in collaboration with architectural history professor Andy Johnston is using the 3D scanning services to digitally preserve the building and surrounding property. When they combine their multiple sets of data, they will have an accurate digital twin of the historic school. 

As the 3D scanning services are deployed, alumni from the school gather on the former baseball field. They are providing the school’s history while UVA students scan the building. In the attic, Will Rourk uses the laser scan to learn everything he can about the building’s structure, materials, and how it stands up. He believes the attic is where you will find the most information about a building. 

His 3D scan reveals dual air shafts, along with solid, true-to-measure pine timbers. The historic school is built to promote education in a healthy environment. High ceilings and large windows help with light and airflow, but the 3D scanning services highlight some of the building’s mysteries. Two of the joists at the center are cut 90% of the way through. It is only one of the details the 3D scanning services bring to light. 

Using the 3D images and oral histories provided by the alumni, the UVA students and faculty aim to create an exhibit highlighting the story of the African American school.

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