April 27, 2011
SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 27, 2011 — Drury University architecture students are continuing their work to improve urban and rural development throughout Missouri as a part of Drury University’s Center for Community Studies (CCS). Students meet with their communities several times during the semester and collaborate with the citizens to envision a future, which the students present in a book, they call the “visioning toolkit.”
Rich Hill, Mo. is located 20 miles north of Nevada, Mo. along Highway 71. Rich Hill, which began with a booming mining industry, is now faced with a dwindling population and little economic activity. Among the projects Drury students will propose are plans to address rising energy costs and new activities to attract youth and create career opportunities.
Students will also address concerns in Stockton, Mo., which is located approximately 60 miles north of Springfield, Mo. Among some of the student proposals for thetown are plans to continue stabilizing the community after severe tornado damage in 2003, reconnect the town’s cultural history and heritage to the local waterways, and develop a stronger retirement community.
Carthage, Mo., located 60 miles west of Springfield, Mo., is also working with the CCS. The students working with Carthage are proposing projects that will celebrate the community’s rich history while also celebrating the rapidly increasing diversity within the area.
Though proposing different projects for all three towns, students working within Crane, Galena, and Reeds Spring will tackle very similar objectives. Located less than 40 miles south of Springfield, Mo., these communities are closelylinked both by mileage and by needs. Drury students will present ideas thatwill address ways to attract new jobs and cultural activities, emphasize the historic elements of each town, and increase opportunities for new business endeavors.
Central High School, located across the street from Drury, is also receiving suggestions from the CCS. Facing increasing enrollment, the high school is beginning to outgrow its building and is looking for ways to better address the needs of its community. Students at Drury have been focusing on highlighting fine arts and technical arts, while also incorporating the urban community within their proposals.
Students will present their final proposals on the following dates:
- Galena—Monday, May 9, at 7 p.m., at the Galena Public Library.
- Stockton—Monday, May 2, at 7 p.m., at the Stockton Community Center.
- Reeds Spring—Tuesday, May 10, at 6:30 p.m., at the Reeds Spring High School in the library.
- Rich Hill—Tuesday, May 10, at 7 p.m., at Rich Hill High School.
- Central High School—Wednesday, May 11, at 3 p.m., in the choral room.
- Carthage—Monday, May 9, at 7 p.m. at the Memorial Hall.
- Crane—Thursday, May 12, at 7 p.m. at Crane High School
The students will rehearse their presentations for the architecture faculty on Monday, May 2, 2011 and Wednesday May 4, 2011 from 1-5 p.m. in the Hammons School of Architecture.
Even more than downtown revitalization and beautification, CCS projects could help save lives. In the spring of 2009, Drury students worked in Monett, Mo. to organize and develop a plan to alleviate downtown flooding. In the past, Monett’s flooding has caused severe property damage and at least one fatality. This fall, Monett was one of five cities to receive a grant from the Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri (DREAM) Initiative.
According to the Monett Times, “Monett’s application for the fifth round of DREAM combined the Vision 2030 report prepared by the Drury University architecture students with the cooperative venture between the city, the Monett Chamber of Commerce and the downtown merchants in establishing the new position of downtown coordinator, which is now held by DJ Miller.”
Another former Center for Community Studies client, Ozark, also received a DREAM grant in the fall of 2010. That makes five former CCS communities that have directlybenefited from the Drury students’ work.
Drury’s CCS works with the Missouri Extension Office to prepare communities before Drury students begin working with communities. After students have completed their projects, MU Extension continues to work with communities in carrying out an action plan. The students’ work is a valuable tool for Missouri cities. CCS only charges around $6,000 for their services, a small fee considering the 2,700 in-kind hours donated by architecture students throughout the semester.
Jay Garrott, AIA
Director & Professor, Drury Center for Community Studies
Office: (417) 873-7371
University of Missouri Extension
Mobile: (417) 343-5682