MSU Carl Small Town Center’s Gregory to lead statewide planning association

January 29th, 2018 Comments Off on MSU Carl Small Town Center’s Gregory to lead statewide planning association

By | Sasha Steinberg

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A Mississippi State alumnus and community planner for the university’s Carl Small Town Center is beginning a new leadership role with the state’s professional organization for city planners.

Thomas R. Gregory III recently was elected to a one-year term as president-elect of the Mississippi Chapter of the American Planning Association. In January 2019, he will begin a two-year term as the organization’s president.

“It is an honor to be selected by my peers and colleagues across Mississippi to lead our state chapter,” Gregory said. “The work we do as planners is critical to the success of Mississippi’s communities, and I will work hard to promote our profession across the state.”

Gregory said he looks forward to collaborating with the executive team to update the chapter’s strategic plan and increase membership among planning professionals in Mississippi.

“I would also like to piggy-back on our national organization’s ‘Great Places’ initiative by creating a ‘Great Places in Mississippi’ program to recognize Mississippi communities that exemplify good planning,” Gregory added.

Prior to being named president-elect, Gregory served as APA Mississippi’s public information officer and conference committee chair. He currently serves the APA on a national level as a member of its leadership development taskforce.

Gregory, a native of Greenwood, is a 2005 MSU magna cum laude business administration, construction management and land development bachelor’s graduate who also minored in economics and political science. He returned to his alma mater during the 2017 fall semester after serving eight years as chief administrative officer for the City of Greenwood. There, he served on the board of directors for Main Street Greenwood, Greenwood-Leflore County Chamber of Commerce, Greenwood Boys and Girls Club and ArtPlace Mississippi.

A Master of City and Regional Planning graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Gregory is licensed by the American Institute of Certified Planners and is a member of Congress for the New Urbanism, among other professional groups. He is a graduate of the Sustainable Cities Design Academy, Public Interest Design Institute and Leadership Mississippi.

Part of the College of Architecture, Art and Design, the Carl Small Town Center is a statewide community design outreach program that was endowed in 2004 by MSU alumnus and major benefactor Fred E. Carl Jr. of Greenwood. For more on the college, visit www.caad.msstate.edu; its Carl Small Town Center, at http://carlsmalltowncenter.orgor www.msstate.edu/videos/2016/07/carl-small-town-center.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

See the story in the Maroon Memo.

See the story in the Mississippi Business Journal.

MSU Carl Small Town Center’s Ripley community project provides students with ‘real-world’ experience

December 13th, 2017 Comments Off on MSU Carl Small Town Center’s Ripley community project provides students with ‘real-world’ experience

Mississippi State’s Carl Small Town Center collaborated with fall-semester fourth-year students in the university’s School of Architecture to develop a master plan for the 50-acre First Monday Trade Days and Flea Market site in Ripley. Pictured during a recent presentation to Ripley stakeholders are, from left to right, MSU senior architecture majors Asher E. Paxton of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Matthew T. Lewis of Brandon, MSU School of Architecture Director and F.L. Crane Professor Michael Berk, and Mitchell D. Hubbell of Pensacola, Florida. (Photo by Russ Houston)

By Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State University

Mississippi State’s Carl Small Town Center has collaborated with students in the university’s College of Architecture, Art and Design to reimagine a popular site in Ripley as part of a proposed master plan for the Tippah County town.

Director Leah F. Kemp said the CSTC began work on the Ripley master plan this past August. For the project, the center solicited help from MSU Assistant Professor Fred Esenwein’s fourth-year architecture studio class to generate ideas for the 50-acre First Monday Trade Days and Flea Market site in Ripley.

Throughout the fall semester, Esenwein’s students worked in groups to develop a master plan featuring cohesive structures for the site, which has brought together craftsmen, artists, farmers, ranchers and other community members for more than 120 years. Ripley residents and CSTC staff also provided feedback to students over the course of the project.

Kemp said the architecture students received words of praise while recently presenting their completed projects to Ripley stakeholders at the Carl Small Town Center in MSU’s Giles Hall. The center will incorporate the students’ design recommendations into a master plan fostering economic growth and community development in Ripley and Tippah County as a whole.

“The Carl Small Town Center is a valuable resource for the School of Architecture as it provides a meaningful way to link students to communities and their needs,” Kemp said. “It also provides students with the opportunity to engage in public interest design.”

Asher Paxton, a senior architecture major from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, was among students who participated in the CSTC project. He enjoyed interacting with Ripley residents and stakeholders on-site, as well as during their recent visit to the Starkville campus.

“For us architecture students, having the clients come to our fourth-year studio review to critique our work was super beneficial,” Paxton said. “It helped us think about the site in a real-world way.”

Greenwood resident Fred E. Carl Jr., a major Mississippi State benefactor and the Carl Small Town Center’s namesake, founded and served as the first president and CEO of nationally recognized Viking Range Corp. A one-time architecture major at MSU, he endowed the university’s statewide community design outreach program in 2004.

For more on the College of Architecture, Art and Design, visit www.caad.msstate.edu; its Carl Small Town Center, at http://carlsmalltowncenter.org or www.msstate.edu/videos/2016/07/carl-small-town-center.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

 
 

Architecture students present fall 2017 Final Reviews

December 11th, 2017 Comments Off on Architecture students present fall 2017 Final Reviews

Thurs., Nov. 16 and Fri. Nov. 17 – Fifth-Year Reviews
Jackson Urban projects

Mon., Nov. 20 – First-Year Reviews
Foundational intervention (3 media: wood; metal; casting)

Mon., Nov. 27 – Second-Year Reviews
Collaborative Studio w/ BCS   ‘Quaker Meeting House’

Tues., Nov. 28 – Third-Year Reviews
‘Urban Chicago medium density Housing’

Wed., Nov. 29 – Fourth-Year Reviews

Studio 1: Mass Timber Office Bldg in Jackson

(photo by Russ Houston / © Mississippi State University)

Studio 2: Ripley MS Master Planning w/ CSTC

 

Carl Small Town Center at MSU receives public outreach, design honors for ‘Marking the Mule’ project

November 19th, 2017 Comments Off on Carl Small Town Center at MSU receives public outreach, design honors for ‘Marking the Mule’ project

By Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State University

Mississippi State’s Carl Small Town Center is receiving two statewide awards for its “Marking the Mule” project focused on advancing citizen engagement in the Marks community.

On the university’s behalf, CSTC Director Leah F. Kemp recently accepted a 2017 Public Outreach Award from the Mississippi Chapter of the American Planning Association at its joint conference with the national APA organization in Birmingham, Alabama. The award recognizes an individual or program that uses information and education to raise awareness about the value of planning among communities and locales. Award criteria include innovation, comprehensiveness, holistic approach, transferability, quality, implementation and technology use. 

The project also received an AIA Design Award from the Mississippi Chapter of the American Institute of Architects during the organization’s recent Public, Design, Community and Membership Awards Celebration at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson.

In July 2015, MSU’s Carl Small Town Center was awarded a $25,000 Our Town grant by the National Endowment for the Arts to create a trail and make plans for an interpretive center that tells the story of a 1968 Mule Train, a program of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Poor People’s Campaign.”

The yearlong public outreach campaign project engaged local residents, historians, architects, planners and state tourism and historic preservation officials. The integrated planning process created a vision for a cultural trail and interpretive center focused on events surrounding the Mule Train.

Documentation of oral histories, outreach at a local blues festival, a hands-on design charrette and multiple feedback loops culminated in the design of an interpretive center and trail, as well as construction of a trailhead marker doubling as a welcome sign at the intersection of Mississippi Highway 6/U.S. Highway 278 and M.L.K. Jr. Drive in Marks.

Kemp said the “Marking the Mule” project gave the Carl Small Town Center and Marks residents the opportunity to have a meaningful impact through the development of a tangible project in the Quitman County community.

“At the Carl Small Town Center, we truly enjoy engaging with communities to find the best solutions to their challenges,” Kemp said. “In the form of multimodal trails, we were able to address tourism and health and wellness, promote historical significance, and provide entryway signage for the Marks community. The resulting awards our center has received are a reflection of this successful project and partnership.”

Fred E. Carl Jr., a major Mississippi State benefactor and the Carl Small Town Center’s namesake, is a Greenwood resident who founded and served as the first president and CEO of nationally recognized Viking Range Corp. A one-time architecture major at MSU, he endowed the university’s statewide community design outreach program in 2004.

For more on the College of Architecture, Art and Design, visit www.caad.msstate.edu; its Carl Small Town Center, at http://carlsmalltowncenter.org or www.msstate.edu/videos/2016/07/carl-small-town-center.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

See the story in the Maroon Memo.

Read about it in The Clarion Ledger.

See the article in the Mississippi Business Journal.

School of Architecture hosts Advisory Board for fall 2017 meeting

October 12th, 2017 Comments Off on School of Architecture hosts Advisory Board for fall 2017 meeting

The Mississippi State University School of Architecture Advisory Board met on Mon., Oct. 10, in the Hunter Henry Center on campus in Starkville.

After the business meeting, the group was invited to an open house event at the Carl Small Town Center to meet with the new director Leah Kemp and see exhibits of current work.

A reception was held following the open house for the current exhibition on display in the Giles Gallery, “Bridges of Touchstone,” featuring work by alumnus and board member Bradley Touchstone’s firm.

(photos by Kelsey Brownlee)

Carl Small Town Center director discusses city planning in Mississippi on SuperTalk Radio

August 10th, 2017 Comments Off on Carl Small Town Center director discusses city planning in Mississippi on SuperTalk Radio

(photo by Megan Bean / © Mississippi State University)

Leah Kemp, director of the Carl Small Town Center at Mississippi State University, was a part of “Good things with Rebecca Turner” on Mississippi’s SuperTalk Radio yesterday [Aug. 9] at 2:20.

Kemp discussed city planning for towns and cities across the Magnolia State.
 
Also a part of the discussion was Scott Hummel, executive vice president and provost of William Carey University, discussing the rebuilding that has taken place on campus following a January tornado.

Listen to the recording here.

Established in 1979, the Carl Small Town Center seeks to initiate theoretical and applied research and to serve as a national focus for the collection, storage, dissemination and application of information pertinent to issues of special interest in small towns. Activities include graphic and photographic documentation and computer imaging of the small town scene. The CSTC has participated in design case studies, environmental impact studies, and economic and marketing analyses. It provides research and service assistance to towns through the redevelopment of downtowns and the implementation of other comparable community improvement initiatives. Assistance projects include community design and improvement, economic diversification, town planning, conservation of architectural and historic resources, affordable housing design and technology, and other activities that affect quality of life in the community.

The center’s motto is, “We are advocates of meaningful design for small towns… and towns that wish they were!”

Fred Carl Jr. featured in Mississippi Business Journal

June 2nd, 2017 Comments Off on Fred Carl Jr. featured in Mississippi Business Journal

via msbusiness.com

Fred Carl goes small with latest venture

By JACK WEATHERLY | Mississippi Business Journal

It is a market he helped to create.

Appointed by then-Gov. Haley Barbour as housing commissioner for Gulf Coast rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Fred Carl Jr. oversaw the designing and building of cottages in a traditional style as a better alternative to trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Association.

The so-called Katrina cottages contributed to the “tiny house” trend.

Now in a crowded field – with cable television shows and magazines touting the little spaces – Carl believes he has found a niche.

Carl founded in the mid-’80s Viking Range, maker of one of the premier brands of residential cook stoves and other appliances.

He and other investors sold the Greenwood-based company to Middleby Corp. of Elgin, Ill., in 2013 for $380 million. Middleby sued the owners in 2015 for $100 million in a case that is still pending.

Now he has launched an equally upscale line of small dwellings.

Carl announced his new company, C3 Design Inc., two years ago. Carl said he would build what he called “modular” homes.

Instead Carl has introduced its first product line, the Retreat Series. Looking for all the world like houses, they are technically recreational vehicles, according to the company’s website, C3spaces.com, which was launched last week.

They are small, no more than 399 square feet not including the porch, which adds another 120 square feet.

Yet they are not really tiny houses in the usual sense.

Classified as “park models,” they are built “in compliance with Standard A119.5 of the American National Standards Institute,” the website states.

The website puts some space between the Retreat Series and tiny houses.

“There is no code or standard governing the design or construction of ‘tiny houses’ mounted on wheels, nor is there an established definition or specification for ‘tiny houses,’” the website says.

Chris Galusha, president of the all-volunteer American Tiny House Association, confirmed that there is indeed no such category.

Galusha said in an interview, however, that the International Code Council will include an appendix in the 2018 edition in the International Residential Code that will define a tiny home as any site-built home that’s less than 400 square feet of “habitable space,” excluding bathrooms and closets, Galusha said.

ANSI 119.5 is for part-time and recreational use, Galusha said. And something built to that standard, with third-party inspection and certification qualifies for insurance.

The Foremost Insurance Group, for example, does insure temporary homes, such as built by C3 Design, as well as modular and manufactured homes, which are considered permanent, said Chad Seabrook, owner of Chad Seabrook Insurance Agency in Ridgeland.

And it can insure tiny homes, he said.

The C3 website states that its park models are designed for temporary recreational use and for moving from one site to another. That means that insurance is generally cheaper for them than for fixed-place shelters, Seabrook said.

But the Retreat Series comes with a hefty price tag.

They start in the “mid-50s,” said Jane Crump, director of public relations and communications for the Greenwood-based manufacturer.

Looking at the price by square foot is the wrong way to price the units, Crump said. “It’s a lifestyle item,” she said.

“They’re definitely an upscale purchase,” Crump said, “for people with discretionary income.”

Standard features in the one-bedroom dwellings are a bathroom and a combined living and kitchen area and stainless-steel appliances and heating and cooling units. Upgrades are possible, such as quartz or granite countertops.

Crump said the company is in the early stages of distribution.

About a dozen have been sold, Crump said. The company has about a half-dozen for sale in Greenwood and Starkville.

Otherwise, they are built when ordered, she said.

“It’s a very measured process . . . to build a business from the ground up,” she said.

Crump would not discuss what C3 Designs future plans might be.

Carl Small Town Center director to co-teach workshop at UNC

June 2nd, 2016 Comments Off on Carl Small Town Center director to co-teach workshop at UNC

John Poros (Photo by Megan Bean)

John Poros (Photo by Megan Bean)

Upcoming STRIDE Workshop Introduce Planning Tools for Linking Rural Development and Transportation

Via stride.ce.ufl.edu

Dr. Brian J. Morton of UNC-Chapel Hill and John Poros, director of the Carl Small Town Center at MSU, will be co-teaching a technical workshop related to their STRIDE-funded project, “A Regional Land-Use Transportation Decision Support Tool for Mississippi” (project #2012-003S), during the National Regional Transportation Conference on June 13-15, 2016 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

via Stride website

via Stride website

“Transportation planners and economic development staff working in small towns or rural communities make strategic decisions about the projects that would best enhance the transportation infrastructure and the strategies that would best promote growth and revitalization,” said Morton, lead PI.  “John Poros, Joe Huegy (of NCSU) and I have developed a suite of tools that inform planning for bicycle travel, preservation of community character and regional development.”

Using a case study set in four counties (see image at right) in Northeast Mississippi (a mostly rural area), the STRIDE project generated an easy-to-use tool for assessing bicycle suitability and a land use model integrated with a household-level travel demand model. The project also generated build-out analyses and renderings showing how infill development could increase density while preserving the existing small town feel.

“Community-Viz projected build-outs along with on the ground visualizations provide rural communities with the tools to assess their options for future growth and development,” Poros said. “Combined with transportation modeling that includes bicycling, rural communities can better position themselves to be the green, sustainable communities of tomorrow.”

The workshop will provide an introduction to a suite of tools for rural transportation planning.

A three-hour workshop is scheduled for Tues., June 14. First, Morton will relate the project to current planning initiatives in small towns and rural areas, including heritage and active tourism, livability and sustainability. Poros will then describe the Community Viz®-based build-out analyses and the bicycle suitability assessments, and he will show photo-realistic visualizations of reimagined streetscapes. In the last hour of the workshop, Morton will discuss the integrated land-use/travel-demand model and an application that investigates how to coordinate growth for an area with both automobile manufacturing and heritage tourism.

What can participants expect from this workshop?: How higher density, pedestrian/bike friendly development can be achieved in small towns. How the land-use/travel-demand model works and how different tools can work together.

Information on the conference and workshop is available at the website of the National Association of Development Organizations: http://www.nado.org/events/rpo2016/.

Baptist Town Neighborhood reinvestment project featured in Delta Business Journal

April 7th, 2016 Comments Off on Baptist Town Neighborhood reinvestment project featured in Delta Business Journal

image via deltabusinessjournal.com

image via deltabusinessjournal.com

By Angela Rogalski | Delta Business Journal

Baptist Town, about a mile east of downtown Greenwood, is a community that is solidly defined by its history and the common bond of its residents. Born in the 1800s, it is one of Greenwood’s oldest African American neighborhoods and is steeped in the rich culture that is the Mississippi Delta. Honeyboy Edwards and Robert Johnson were known to frequent Baptist Town during their lifetimes and it’s written that Edwards called it “the final residence of Robert Johnson” since the legendary Blues singer spent some of his last days in and around Baptist Town.

Today the community is going through a promising re-flourishment as the Baptist Town Neighborhood Reinvestment Project, planned in 2000, is still underway. Emily Roush-Elliott, a social impact architect, has been a long-time participant in the project.

“For the last three years I was an Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow, which was a wonderful position with the Greenwood, Leflore, Carroll Economic Development Foundation,” Roush-Elliott says. “The Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship partners early-career architectural designers with local community development organizations, where they facilitate an inclusive approach to development to create green, sustainable, and affordable communities. And even though I am no longer a Fellow, my work has actually continued. I still do about half-time, but have also had the opportunity to branch out and start my own design-build practice with my husband. So, we’re continuing the work I started as a Fellow most of the time, but also doing other projects as well.”

Roush-Elliott explains that Baptist Town history has deep roots and is very important to the city of Greenwood.

“Baptist Town is a neighborhood and not its own town at all; it’s part of Greenwood,” she explains. “We know that it’s at least 135 years old and is probably one of the first places where African Americans could own property in Mississippi after slavery ended. So, it has a really long history and is very important.”

While Baptist Town isn’t known for its economic wealth and prosperity, Roush-Elliott says it has so much more embedded within its historical core and is rich in many ways other than money.

“When newspapers write about Baptist Town it always makes me cringe, because invariably someone calls it this impoverished neighborhood. And I wish that they would clarify and say economically impoverished, because it is; from a financial and wealth standpoint it struggles, but from every other value standpoint, the more important ones, such as people taking care of each other, community identity and history and culture, it’s incredibly rich. It’s a wonderful neighborhood and has been studied by a lot of different people. Robert Johnson spent time in Baptist Town; part of the movie “The Help” was filmed there, so there’s a lot of tourism attractions to the community, which sometimes is a negative thing.”

In 2000, students from the Carl Small Town Center, which is a community design center out of the Mississippi State University School of Architecture, came over to Baptist Town and worked with the community and did architectural planning studies to determine the primary needs and goals of the neighborhood and come up with solutions.

“That was the beginning of the relationship between the Mississippi State University School of Architecture and the Carl Small Town Center and the Economic Development Foundation here in Greenwood,” Roush-Elliott says. “So years later, they partnered again and students came back and re-studied the neighborhood and created a masterplan with the community; they really specialize in listening and having community engagement sessions.”

The community had some top priorities for Baptist Town, such as rehabbed and new housing; a community center; safer and better-looking entryways; a playground and parks. And all of these things became part of the masterplan.

“The Carl Small Town Center got together with the Greenwood, Leflore, Carroll Economic Development Foundation and applied to Enterprise Community Partners for an Enterprise Rose Fellow and they were awarded that fellow,” she says. “My husband and I had been working on rural development in Tanzania and we were looking to come back to the States and apply the things that we’d learned over there. So, when this opened up, we applied and we got it and we’ve been really working and focusing on Baptist Town since 2013.”

It was a three-year fellowship and with some funding that was already in place, Roush-Elliott, along with the Greenwood partners, was able to accomplish almost the entire masterplan that had been laid out years earlier.

“Five homes were rehabbed and we’re working on a couple of more now,” she says. “We did 11 new affordable homes and sold them to families who lived in the neighborhood for a cost that fit within their budgets. We purchased a building and rehabbed it for a community center that is open. It offers job training now and will offer other things in the future. We did street lights, sidewalks and signage, and landscaping at all of the entryways. We built two parks and one of them includes a playground.”

Roush-Elliott says those are the tangible things the project has been able to accomplish, but more than that are the relationships that have formed between the city and the people who live in Baptist Town.

“We’re most proud of the changes in people’s lives that we’ve seen,” she adds, “the things that the residents have been able to accomplish all on their own. The homeowners who are all first-time buyers, mostly people a little older in age who have never been able to own their own home before, are now doing it and it’s great. And none of it was gifted; they’re buying their homes. Whatever we invested to develop the home is what the mortgage became.”

John Poros was a teacher at the Mississippi State University School of Architecture and part of the original team that began the planning stages of the project in 2000. Today, Poros is the director of the Carl Small Town Center and is still involved with the ongoing improvements.

“The project got started with Fred Carl of Viking Range Corporation in Greenwood,” Poros says. “And Fred brought us (The Mississippi State School of Architecture) to the neighborhood back then and we had an architectural design studio that looked at the neighborhood then and the Carl Small Town Center gave a report on the project, but unfortunately at that time, we couldn’t get any traction with the project.”

Poros says a few years later, when all of the current partners got involved, they began to see the project move forward.

“The masterplan that we came up with actually won a National American Planning Association Award and once that happened we were able to get funding from the Foundation for the Mid- South, which was about $300,000. Then we were able to move forward and start the work in the neighborhood. That’s when I knew that we had to get Emily Roush-Elliott involved, and on behalf of the Carl Small Town Center, I applied for the Enterprise Rose Fellowship.”

Poros said the Center’s involvement with the project is still strong. “We at the Carl Small Town Center have been working with Emily over the past three years, during her Fellowship to help. Right now, we’re partnering with her to get smaller projects done in the neighborhood by bringing students or faculty members in to help. It’s been an incredible experience and really what you love to see if you’re doing community design. When you can really affect people’s lives and see those results, such as the first-time homeowners; it’s great.”

Alice Leflore is a Baptist Town resident and has been for most of her life. She’s also chair of the management board for the Baptist Town Community Development Center.

“Baptist Town is my home and I have lived there for the majority of my life,” Leflore says. “All of us who live there have always wanted to see our neighborhood improved and revived. It’s our home and we knew what it had once been before the deterioration begun in the late 90s and early 2000s. So, I wanted the neighborhood to be improved and to have the same pride, if not more, than it once had.”

Leflore welcomes the changes that she has seen since the project began and hopes that the progress continues.

“One of the things that I love is the fact that for most of the people in the homes, this is the first time they have ever owned their own home,” Leflore says. “And it’s a really wonderful thing for them. Unfortunately, we have had three people to pass away since they moved into their own home, but I am thankful that they died owning that home that they never thought they would. And I’m happy that we’re on our way to accomplishing the things that we set out to accomplish. We are non-profit now at the Center, so we can go after more programs to assist people and get more things started. So, we are moving forward.”

Mississippi State University research center receives national American Planning Association award

March 8th, 2016 Comments Off on Mississippi State University research center receives national American Planning Association award

CIRD 02 copy

The Carl Small Town Center has been awarded the 2016 American Planning Association (APA) Small Town and Rural (STaR) James A. Segedy Award for Outstanding Student Project for its planning work for the community of Houston, Miss.

The Mississippi State University research center hosted a workshop in February 2014 as part of the Citizen’s Institute on Rural Design (CIRD), which served to gather ideas from the Houston community and its leaders about the Tanglefoot Trailhead® in Houston. Houston is the southernmost community along the 44-mile-long Tanglefoot Trail®, a cycling/pedestrian pathway that runs from New Albany south through Pontotoc and Chickasaw Counties. Students helped prepare interactive activities, plans and maps and facilitated group table discussions at the three-day CIRD workshop.

A main goal of the workshop was to create a plan to designate a new pavilion location at the trailhead, as well as lead visitors from the trailhead to Houston’s downtown area and also to connect the trail to the nearby Natchez Trace Parkway.

The planning workshop was themed: “Start Dreaming, Houston…” The result was a swell of momentum to capitalize on the new trail and all its potential for the community.

“Our students gained immeasurable experience in community engagement and developing leadership skills while helping facilitate the design workshop,” said Assistant Director of the Carl Small Town Center Leah Kemp. They also gained exposure to national experts and worked alongside them, which they really enjoyed.”

The center has since designed a pavilion for the site, which is scheduled to be constructed in spring 2016.

“The people of Houston are making big strides to put the workshop plans into action, and we have enjoyed working with them to make it happen,” said Kemp.

The workshop was funded by a 2014 CIRD Award funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, and Houston was one of just four communities nationwide to receive the funding.

The James A. Segedy Award is given annually to recognize an outstanding project by a graduate or undergraduate class or individual that addresses a planning issue facing small town or rural areas.

“This award is one of many recent awards that recognizes the work of the Carl Small Town Center to develop and implement design projects for small towns and communities in Mississippi,” said College of Architecture, Art and Design Associate Dean Greg G. Hall, Ph.D., AIA, NCARB. “The Houston planning workshop serves as an example of ways in which the center supports the mission of the university to serve the development of the state through teaching, research and service.”

The award will be presented at the STaR Business Meeting on Sun., April 3 during the National Planning Conference in Phoenix, Ariz. The Houston Trailhead project will be highlighted at the meeting and featured in a STaR newsletter article.

The Carl Small Town Center is a nonprofit community design and outreach component of the College of Architecture, Art and Design and its School of Architecture. The research center works to help improve the quality of life and create economic opportunity in small towns by improving their physical environments. For more information on the center, visit carlsmalltowncenter.org.

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