Boise State students recognized for preservation of World War II site

The students began designing the project around restoration of Minidoka National Historic Site.
The students began designing the project around restoration of Minidoka National Historic Site. | Contributed photo
Thirteen students participating in Boise State University’s service-learning program will be awarded the John Wesley Powell Prize, an honor bestowed on those who have made an outstanding achievement in the field of historic preservation projects.

The students began designing the project around restoration of Minidoka National Historic Site, one of the largest and most remote Japanese relocation compounds of World War II. It was one of 10 such locations in the United States, housing at its peak 9,000 of the 120,000 Japanese Americans interred during the war.

Amy Moll, dean of the College of Engineering at Boise State, said that the project is an excellent example of how the educational experience can be heightened through service-learning. In this case, project management and construction skills were coupled with a clearer understanding of local history.

The students, aided by members of the Construction Management Association, built the guard tower in Jerome County in 2014. The students were responsible for the management and construction of the entire structure, with faculty providing the supervision. Students also created and presented estimates and orders for materials and planned out progress, completing the structure on their own.

The award will be presented to the students in Baltimore on March 17 at the joint annual meeting of the National Council on Public History and the Society for History in the Federal Government. 

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