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Drury Architecture Students Continue Revitalization Efforts

For Immediate Release: December 10

Contact:
Jay Garrott, AIA
Director & Professor, Drury Center for Community Studies
Office: (417) 873-7371
E-mail: jgarrott@drury.edu

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 10, 2009
— Drury University architecture students are continuing their work to improve urban development throughout Missouri as a part of Drury University’s Center for Community Studies (CCS). This semester, students are working on projects in Appleton City and Warsaw, Mo.

In Appleton City, the community’s downtown has deteriorated some due to hard economic times. Residents have asked students to help them revitalize the downtown. Students are working on plans for housing, parks and green space, and a youth activity center.

Drury students are working with the City of Warsaw on developing a plan for their waterfront along the Osage River. The area extends down Main Street to the historic downtown district. The area includes many challenges including some blighted areas, wetlands, a levee and several mixed-use properties along with public and private landowners.

Students will present their final proposals on the following dates:

  • Appleton City, Dec. 15 from 6-8 p.m.
  • Warsaw, Dec. 17 from 6-8 p.m.

The students will rehearse their presentations to the architecture faculty on Friday, Dec. 11 from 1:30-4:30 p.m. in the Hammons School of Architecture.

Last year, Drury’s CCS students developed and administered a revitalization plan for Brookfield, Mo. The community had previously applied for assistance from the Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri (DREAM) Initiative, a program designed to provide technical and financial assistance for communities to engage in the downtown revitalization process. After failing to receive the designation, Drury architecture students stepped in to help the community make its dream a reality.

“When we were not selected, it was noted that we simply did not have an adequate plan. That notation was taken very seriously and, with the help of the Drury School of Architecture and Jeff Barber-University of Missouri Extension ExCEED, a Main Street Visioning team was created,” said current Mayor of Brookfield, Jack Forbes. This fall, Brookfield was selected to receive the DREAM designation.

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 $5,000 for their services, a small fee considering the 2,700 in-kind hours donated by architecture students throughout the semester.

Other cities have benefited from Drury’s involvement, too. In the past three years, Webb City and Lamar were selected for the DREAM Initiative as well. “Without the Drury study, I don’t think we would be getting this DREAM award,” Steve Garrett, Webb City city administrator told the Joplin Globe in 2008.

Even more than downtown revitalization and beautification, CCS projects could help save lives. This past spring, 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. With the help of Drury students, Monett now has a plan that could be developed to help alleviate that flooding.

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