December 9, 2010
NEWS: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 9, 2010 — 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). This semester, students are working on projects in Urich, Osceola and Windsor. 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”.
Urich, Mo. is located 20 miles west of Clinton, Mo. Urich is faced with a dwindling population and little economic activity. Among the projects Drury students will propose are housing reconstruction and redevelopment, expanding agri-business like biomass and vineyards, creation of a business district, downtown revitalization and a plan for developing connections with surrounding cities.
Students will also address concerns in Osceola, Mo., which is located approximately 60 miles north of Springfield, Mo. Among some of the student proposals for the town are plans to reconnect the town’s cultural history and heritage to the local waterways, enhance the circulation to downtown, create new career and higher education opportunities and promoting tourism within the region.
Windsor, Mo., located 20 miles east of Clinton, Mo., is also working with the Center for Community Studies. The students working with Windsor are proposing the construction of a natatorium and an eco-industrial park, as well as the creation of a downtown plaza and a welcome center. Additional focus will be placed on integrating the KATY Trail, developing other greenways and connecting to the regional assets of Truman Lake and Whiteman Air Force Base.
Students will present their final proposals on the following dates:
· Urich—Saturday, Dec. 11, at 3:30 p.m., at the Urich Lion’s Club.
· Osceola—Monday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m., at the Osceola Senior Center.
· Windsor—Thursday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m., at the Windsor High School.
The students will rehearse their presentations for the architecture faculty on Friday, December 10 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 this fall. That makes five former CCS communities that have directly benefited 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 project, 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
Drury is an independent University, church related, grounded in the liberal arts tradition and committed to personalized education in a community of scholars who value the arts of teaching and learning. Education at Drury seeks to cultivate spiritual sensibilities and imaginative faculties as well as ethical insight and critical thought; to foster the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge; and to liberate persons to participate responsibly in and contribute to a global community. For more information, visit www.drury.edu/strategicplan.
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