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Drury architecture students present solutions to help small towns survive

For Immediate Release: May 6

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 6, 2010 — Students working in Drury University’s Center for Community Studies (CCS) will make their final presentations to the cities they’ve been working with this semester.

  • Montrose, Mo.-Saturday, May 8, at 8 p.m. in the Veterans of Foreign Wars building.
  • Hermitage, Mo.-Tuesday, May 11 at 6 p.m. in the Hermitage High School cafeteria.

CCS students spent the semester working with Montrose and Hermitage, two smaller communities located in southwest Missouri seeking revitalization efforts. Together, the communities and students developed a plan to help the cities attract businesses, increase population and retain or establish an identity. Some of their key renovation goals included:

For Montrose:

  • Stabilize the economy.
  • Maintain and strengthen the community bond.
  • Beautify downtown.

For Hermitage:

  • Develop a parks system for the town.
  • Attract businesses or manufacturing.
  • Improve the appearance of the town.

The plans books that Drury students conceive and give to the communities help CCS cities receive grants and funding to carry out the proposed plans with professional architects and planners. The students gain experience working with a client, and the communities get thousands of dollars of work and are only asked to cover material and travel costs for the students. In the past several years, CCS has worked with Lamar, Webb City and Brookfield, all of which received the Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri (DREAM) initiative. The DREAM initiative is a designation that allows smaller towns the same access to economic development tools as larger communities.


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