Students in the Preservation Law and Planning course had a semester of experiential learning when, for their class project led by instructor Autumn Rierson Michael, they assisted the small town of Badin, NC (pop. 1,500) with suggested updates to their National Register boundaries, as well as a draft preservation ordinance and proposed design guidelines for the town.

The small early 20th century town—which is listed almost in its entirety on the National Register—was devastated when its primary employer and long-time corporate benefactor, Alco Aluminum, became idle in 2002. The town is aging, but rich in unique architectural history, and residents were thrilled to receive the technical assistance from the students. The students spent the semester doing survey work, researching ordinances in similar towns, and finally drafting the proposed ordinance and guidelines. The students presented their findings to the Town Board and community members in a public meeting. Their assistance was invaluable to the Town and was a giant step in helping the town move forward with historic preservation protections.