Panelists named for upcoming Houston rural design workshop

January 13th, 2015 Comments Off

panelists

Four panelists have been selected from across the country to serve as resource team experts for the upcoming Citizen’s Institute for Rural Design workshop in Houston, Miss., from February 22-24.

  • Andrew Barresi of Massachusetts, principal at Roll Baressi & Associates, will serve as graphic designer for wayfinding and signage around the community.
  • Heather Deutsch of Washington, D.C., sustainable transportation planner at Toole Design Group, will serve as cycling advocate and Rails-to_Trails expert.
  • Keith Holt of Wisconsin, southeast region director at Wisconsin Bicycle Federation, will serve as the project’s community engagement specialist and bicycle advocate.
  • Brice Maryman, ASLA, PLA, CPSI, LEED AP, of Washington, landscape architect and lecturer at the University of Washington, will serve as the landscape architect for the project.

Houston was one of just four communities nationwide to receive a 2014 CIRD Award funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. The award will fund the upcoming workshop, which will serve to gather ideas from the Houston community and its leaders about the Tanglefoot Trailhead in Houston. Houston is the southernmost community along the Tanglefoot Trail, a cycling/pedestrian pathway that runs from New Albany south through Pontotoc and Chickasaw County.

The Carl Small Town Center, one of two research centers housed in Mississippi State University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Design, will host the workshop, which has the main goal of creating plans to lead visitors from the Tanglefoot Trail to Houston’s downtown area and to connect the trail to the nearby Natchez Trace Parkway.

“We are excited to have this esteemed group of experts to help Houston realize its potential at the trailhead of the Tanglefoot Trail,” said Leah Kemp, assistant director of the CSTC. “Each of these resource team members will provide a skill-set that will be beneficial to help envision and design a great place for Houston.”

The free workshop, open to the Houston community, will kick off with an event in the afternoon on Sun., Feb. 22, at the Houston Trailhead. The remainder of the workshop will take place at the Houston Civic Center.

Expert Biographies:

  • Andrew Barresi is in charge of the overall management of Roll Barresi & Associates and directs the firm’s design efforts. He has served as project manager for sign and wayfinding programs for Johns Hopkins University, the City of Newport, Duke University, Peabody Essex Museum, The Arnold Arboretum and Harvard Business School. He is an honors graduate of Wentworth Institute of Technology (civil engineering, 1987) and Massachusetts College of Art (graphic design, 1997). He previously served as graphics coordinator for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, responsible for the design of graphic systems for the Authority in metropolitan Boston and surrounding cities and towns. He also managed the MBTA’s public arts program, “Arts on the Line” and ADA accessibility standards. Barresi’s work on the city of Newport sign program has received an Annual Design Award from the Society for Environmental Graphic Designers. His work has been published in SEGD Design and Architectural Record.
  • Heather Deutsch has worked on bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure projects for the past ten years for the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Washington, D.C.’s Department of Transportation and most recently Toole Design Group.  In addition to providing design assistance on hundreds of private and public transportation and public space plans, she has managed trail projects from land acquisition to design and on to construction.  At the Rails-to-Trails Conversancy, Deutsch led a team that provided legal, acquisition, economic and design assistance to municipalities throughout the U.S.  Previous urban planning work focused on under-served communities in redeveloping historic neighborhoods. Deutsch holds a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a Bachelor of Arts in the History of Math, Science and Philosophy.  She has traveled to 35 countries and bicycled across the country at the age of 13.
  • Keith Holt has worked for more than five years for the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation (now Active Transportation Alliance). In that role, he served in a community liaison capacity, developing and maintaining relationships with the African-American communities throughout Chicago and working to gain support for the organizations’ programs in those areas. Since moving to Milwaukee in 2007, he has brought his personal mission to the neighborhood where he lives and continues with the formation of Milwaukee Bicycle Works. He also serves on several board and committees. He is chairman of Milwaukee Bike Ped Task Force, serves on the Washington Park Partners Steering Committee and is a board member for the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin. His specialties include urban trails and greenways, livable communities, cycling advocacy, event coordination/facilitation, youth development, bicycling in communities of color and urban built environment.
  • Brice Maryman is an award-winning landscape architect at SvR Design Company in Seattle. Whether working on children’s playgrounds or public streetscapes, he is passionately concerned with the vitality and health of natural and cultural ecosystems. In addition to his work at SvR, he currently serves in a leadership role on the board of Seattle Parks Commissioners. He co-founded the University of Washington’s Urban Green Infrastructure Certificate Program and co-directed the ASLA award-winning Open Space Seattle 2100 project with Nancy Rottle.  Maryman has been involved with several local organizations including the Great City, the Arboretum Foundation and the Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks. This involvement continues his deep commitment to balancing environmental and cultural values within the urban environment. He recently served as chair of the Technical Advisory Committee for Planning and Design for the STAR Community Index.

The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (CIRD) is a National Endowment for the Arts leadership initiative in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Project for Public Spaces Inc. along with the Orton Family Foundation and the CommunityMatters® Partnership. Established in 1991, CIRD has convened more than 60 rural design workshops in all regions of the country, empowering residents to leverage local assets in order to build better places to live, work, and play. For more information visit www.rural-design.org.

Watch the video on WCBI

Read more about the Houston’s Citizen’s Institute for Rural Design Award on Mississippi State University’s Website.

2014 Citizen’s Institute for Rural Design Award recipients

For more about the Carl Small Town Center, visit carlsmalltowncenter.org.

The MSU College of Architecture, Art and Design is online at caad.msstate.edu.

Read the story on MSU’s website and at WCBI.com.

Carl Small Town Center’s Tanglefoot Trail project featured on WCBI

November 20th, 2014 Comments Off

http://caad.msstate.edu/wpmu/sarcnews/cstc-tanglefoot-wcbi/

Via WCBI

They gathered at the Tanglefoot Trailhead in Houston, near what is left of the old depot. A mix of community leaders, economic development officials and specialists in rural design, to talk about how the trail can serve the community.

“The hard work is done, the trail is here, it’s great, people are using it, but now we kind of look at, ok, how do we make this even better?” said Cynthia Nikitin, who is with the Citizens Institute on Rural Design, which picked Houston as one of four towns nationwide to help develop a plan to maximize public spaces.

There are many possibilities for development along Houston’s portion of the 44-mile-long Tanglefoot Trail which runs from New Albany south through Pontotoc into Chickasaw County. Options including recreation facilities, public spaces or other community amenities.

One of the main goals is to get visitors from the trailhead to the downtown area. A workshop set for early next year will look at ways to do just that.

MSU students from the Carl Small Town Center will help organize the workshop and will help implement ideas.

“It’s a really wonderful opportunity for them, it’s a real world project that they get to be involved in, they get to see first hand how to interact with community members and produce great results,” said Leah Kemp from the Carl Small Town Center.

Economic development officials say having a plan to draw more people to the trail and the community will benefit everyone.

“We want to develop further businesses, we want to develop the landscapes, so people are attracted into this community, it has much much potential,” said John Walden, chairman of the Chickasaw Development Foundation.

Once plans are finalized, experts will look at options to pay for the projects.

The workshop to gather ideas for development along the Tanglefoot Trail in Houston is set for mid February.

CAAD research centers receive AIA/MS 2014 Design Awards

November 6th, 2014 Comments Off

web 24-Women in Construction Training Center copy

Women in Construction Training Center (GCCDS)

23- Baptist Town_Disk Three_Image

Baptist Town Master Plan (CSTC)

On October 16, the Mississippi Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Mississippi) hosted a Design Awards Celebration in Jackson to honor recipients of its Design Awards and Member Awards, as well as newly licensed architects, landscape architects and interior designers in the state.

The two research centers housed in Mississippi State University’s College of Architecture, Art and Design both were honored at the event.

The Gulf Coast Community Design Studio (GCCDS) received an Honor Award in the Architecture/New Construction category for the Women in Construction Training Center for the Moore Community House.

Women in Construction is an organization that trains and assists women to get jobs in construction-related fields. Over the years Women in Construction has been a partner with the GCCDS on many projects for homeowners and for the community.

David Perkes, director of the GCCDS said, “It was especially rewarding to work with them to create a work space that embodies their ‘can-do’ culture. Building the project was as important as getting it built, and the completed building is a testament of the capability of the women students, staff and volunteers.”

The Carl Small Town Center (CSTC) received a Citation Award in the Master Planning and Urban Design Category for the Baptist Town Master Plan for the Greenwood Leflore Carroll Economic Development Foundation.

“The award for the Baptist Town Master Plan reaffirms the longterm effort the CSTC has made in its commitment to Greenwood and the Baptist Town neighborhood,” said Leah Kemp, assistant director of the CSTC. “We are starting to see these master plan elements come to life as recent housing has been installed and the community center is under renovation.”

“It is a testament to the School of Architecture’s commitment to ‘community design’ and ‘social justice’ when our research centers are recognized for their amazing outreach work with Design Awards from the AIA Mississippi Chapter,” said Michael Berk, F.L. Crane Professor and director of the School of Architecture. “The work that our centers produce is nothing short of heroic — and the impacts to the communities will be felt for generations.”

The AIA Mississippi Design Awards program is part of the annual program of events, Mississippi Celebrates Architecture, presented by AIA Mississippi. The goal of the program, which also features an Educational Symposium and a Public Outreach and Exhibition, is to promote and celebrate the role of architecture in Mississippi’s culture. The Design Awards program further seeks to encourages design excellence and elevate the quality of architecture and design in the state by recognizing and honoring members’ works of distinction.

Read the story on the MSU website.

 

Several alumni and friends of the School of Architecture were also honored at the event. See the full list of AIA/MS 2014 Design Awards below.

Honor Awards:
Albert & Associates Architects, P.A.
(Renovation/Restoration)
Charnley-Norwood House Restoration
Mississippi Dept. of Marine Resources
& Mississippi Dept. of Archives and History

• Cooke Douglass Farr Lemons Architects & Engineers, PA
(Architecture/New Construction)
Puckett Machinery Headquarters
Hastings Puckett

• Gulf Coast Community Design Studio
(Architecture/New Construction)
Women in Construction Training Center
Moore Community House

Merit Awards:
JBHM Architecture
(Architecture/New Construction)
Tupelo Aquatics Center
City of Tupelo

• Duvall Decker Architects, P.A.
(Renovation/Restoration)
James H. White Library Renovation
Mississippi Valley State University
Bureau of Building, Grounds and Real Property Management
State of Mississippi

• Duvall Decker Architects, P.A.
(Renovation/Restoration)
Mississippi Dept. of Information Technology Services
Cooperative Data Center
Bureau of Building, Grounds and Real Property Management
State of Mississippi

Citations:
• unabridged Architecture

(Architecture/New Construction)
Waveland Business Center
City of Waveland

• WFT Architects, P.A.
(Renovation/Restoration)
Rehabilitation of the Medgar Evers House Museum
Tougaloo College

• WFT Architects, P.A.
(Renovation/Restoration)
Exterior Rehabilitation of the John W. Boddie House
(The Mansion), Phase II
Tougaloo College

• Carl Small Town Center
(Master Planning Urban Design)
Baptist Town Master Plan
Greenwood Leflore Carroll Economic Development Foundation

• Belinda Stewart Architects, P.A.
(Architecture/New Construction)
Delta Blues Museum Muddy Waters Addition
Delta Blues Museum

MSU’s Carl Small Town Center to receive CIRD workshop funding

October 24th, 2014 Comments Off

Via Leah Barbour | MSU Public Affairs

When Chickasaw County community leaders contacted Mississippi State University’s Carl Small Town Center, they wanted to discuss ways to connect the Tanglefoot Trail to downtown Houston and the Natchez Trace Parkway.

The CSTC is the service and research arm of MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design, and the center works with officials, citizens and organizations to improve quality of life in towns throughout the Magnolia State, said Leah Kemp, CSTC assistant director.

Houston is the southernmost community along the Tanglefoot Trail, she explained. At present, the end of the 44-mile, rails-to-trails cycling/pedestrian pathway is a vacant lot, but Houston leaders want to change that.

“There is currently no way for cyclists to get from the trail to the nearby downtown or the Trace,” Kemp said.

CSTC leaders chose to apply for a competitive Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design workshop funding, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, because connecting Houston’s tourist attractions should boost tourism and benefit neighborhoods, Kemp said. In late July, the CSTC learned Houston was one of only four communities in the nation to receive the award, which will enable CSTC to host a rural design technical workshop this fall for the town.

“We and our partners in Houston recognize that this area has wonderful potential; we also recognize that this CIRD program will provide the necessary expertise that Houston needs,” she said.

The CIRD funding will fund a two-and-a-half day workshop in Houston, with CIRD providing design expertise and technical assistance valued at $35,000, according to CIRD officials. The CSTC-Houston team will receive additional training, both before and after the workshop, through conference calls, webinars and other web-based resources. Topics include community engagement, rural design, partnership development and workshop planning.

CIRD is a National Endowment for the Arts initiative that collaborates with the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Project for Public Spaces, Inc.; the Orton Family Foundation; and the CommunityMatters Partnership to sponsor design experts’ work in rural communities.

To qualify for the CIRD funding, towns must have populations fewer than 50,000; only two towns and two counties were selected. The Mississippi community is the only one in the Southeast, and it’s the smallest–only 3,562 residents. Other funding recipients are located in Franklin, New Hampshire; Oregon County, Missouri; and Lancaster County, Nebraska.

“The selected communities demonstrate rich potential for leveraging partnerships to take action on a wide range of rural design issues,” said Cynthia Nikitin, CIRD program director and senior vice president of project for Public Spaces, Inc. “Rural design is a valuable tool for citizens to use to build on existing assets and improve their community’s quality of life and long-term viability.

“The workshop will provide national experts in design-related fields that can help develop a tangible vision for how to connect the trail to the downtown, as well as provide a way that Houston can bring economic development to its town by capitalizing on the trail.”

For more information about the CSTC, visit carlsmalltowncenter.org.

Learn more about CIRD at www.rural-design.org.

Painting the town in New Houlka: School of Architecture featured on WTVA

April 4th, 2014 Comments Off

See this  story and more at WTVA.com

NEW HOULKA (WTVA) — MSU architectural professor Emily Roush Eliott and her student Katherine Ernst are on their way to making the square around the New Houlka City Hall just a little bit brighter.

“I’m really excited about it because we have worked really hard on this,” said Ernst.

She’s excited because she is putting into practice what she has learned in class at Mississippi State.

Her professor is not there to just watch, she’s working too.

They are practicing what’s called public interest architecture.

They’ve chosen New Houlka to create a bike path around the town that leads from the increasingly popular Tanglefoot
Trail.

“The big need that we heard was that the community of New Houlka wants more people, more activity, more business downtown, ” said Eliott.” As a group of architecture students and professors, we’re not going to open a new restaurant. But what we can do is try to help attract people,” she continued.

And it appears they’ve come up with a way to do just that.

“Now we are at the very beginning phase of a bike path because we wanted to start with the Tanglefoot and then bring a path that runs all around the square,” said Ernst.

They presented their idea to city leaders who welcomed them with open arms.

“The yellow part going around the trail is for bikes,” explained New Houlka Mayor Jimmy Kelly. “And then the white is for walking people who are walking around the trail. And then every so often, there will be circles, little signs pointing out things in town like an ice cream parlor,” he concluded.

As you might imagine, officials here in New Houlka are thrilled with the project saying that it will only enhance what has been a good thing for the City and that is the Tanglefoot Trail.

“I’ve heard from the people of Houlka that its been so busy. I heard that last Saturday the deli that opened just next to the Trail sold out completely,” the MSU professor said, smiling.

“The Trail has been more of a draw than I though it would be when we first started talking about it,” said Kelly.

The “Paint the Square Project” is expected to be done by the end of April and is a project of the Create Foundation’s Create Class program.

It is also supported by the MSU College of Art, Architecture and Design as well as the Greenwood-Leflore Economic Development Foundation.

National Enterprise Rose Fellows visit Mississippi

March 17th, 2014 Comments Off

group pic web

Mississippi State hosted the national Enterprise Rose Fellows on Tuesday, March 4.

Fifty current and past fellows met in the Baptist Town neighborhood of Greenwood, current fellow Emily Roush Elliott’s project location.

(Elliott is co-hosted for her three-year stint in Greenwood by the Greenwood-Leflore-Carroll Economic Development Foundation and the Carl Small Town Center of the School of Architecture at Mississippi State).

Afterwards, the current fellows headed to Starkville to work with Elliot’s class – co-taught with Leah Faulk Kemp, assistant director for the Carl Small Town Center – and present their projects before a larger group of MSU architecture students.

A “Fat Tuesday Feast” was held after the presentations for the fellows, faculty and students.

See the photos.

CSTC to host Fat Tuesday Feast

February 25th, 2014 Comments Off

On March 4, current Enterprise Rose Fellows will visit the MSU School of Architecture to lead discussions and present their work and projects from around the United States.

Architecture students are encouraged to join in the discussions and learn about different paths to follow after graduation and what the Enterprise Rose Fellowship entails.

The presentations will start at 4 p.m. in the Robert and Freda Harrison Auditorium in Giles Hall. Afterward, all are invited to join the fellows for a Fat Tuesday Feast.

Carl Small Town Center to host design seminar for public officials

February 17th, 2014 Comments Off

cstc-red-logoThe Carl Small Town Center (CSTC), a research center housed within the School of Architecture in the College of Architecture, Art and Design at Mississippi State University, is hosting a “Design for Public Officials” seminar.

The event, which is open to all North Mississippi public officials and persons interested in improving their communities, will focus on the value of good design for towns located in the state’s Hills and Delta regions. It will be held at The Inn at Ole Miss in Oxford on Mon., March 24, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The seminar will provide public officials with useful and applicable knowledge, including the tools to become advocates of good design for their communities. Attendees will also learn what’s needed to be successful in planning and economic development projects for tourism, recreation and job recruitment.

Topics will include the value of good design, transportation, rural sustainability, and creative economy and tourism.

Speakers will be Bob Barber, former planner for the city of Hernando; Heather Deutsch, bicycle program specialist with the District Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C.; John Poros, rural sustainability expert and director of the CSTC; and Kennedy Smith, community development and revitalization expert with the Community Land Use and Economics Group out of Arlington, Va.

Attendees will earn two Certified Municipal Official (CMO)) credits. The registration fee is $30 before March 14 or $45 after March 14.  Lunch is included in the workshop.

Public officials also are encouraged to bring ideas and information about their local projects to discuss with panelists during the project sharing session.

For more information about the seminar, contact Leah Faulk Kemp at 662-325-2304 or cstcinfo@caad.msstate.edu. For more information about the CSTC, visit carlsmalltowncenter.org.

Get the registration form here.

Read the story on MSU’s website.

Good year for Baptist Town project leader

January 13th, 2014 Comments Off

Via wtva.com

The architecture fellow heading the Baptist Town Project said she’s had a productive first year on the job in 2013 despite some major setbacks.

Emily Roush Elliott said she hopes to continue making tangible progress in 2014 while also broadening the scope of her work. She’ll be co-teaching a course at Mississippi State University this coming semester.

Elliott, an Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow, is co-hosted for her three-year stint in Greenwood by the Greenwood-Leflore-Carroll Economic Development Foundation and the Carl Small Town Center of the School of Architecture at Mississippi State.

Elliott said her first year of the fellowship, awarded by Enterprise Community Partners Inc., a Boston-based nonprofit design company, focused almost exclusively on executing work in the Baptist Town neighborhood of Greenwood.

Starting this week, Elliott will be commuting to Starkville as well, where she’ll co-teach a course on community design with Leah Kemp, the assistant director of the Carl Small Town Center. Elliott said the course will focus on giving students real-world experience in using design to improve the quality of life in one Mississippi small town.

The Carl Small Town Center, which focuses on rural design and planning, is named for Fred Carl Jr., the founder and former CEO of Viking Range Corp. Carl endowed the center with a $2.5 million gift in 2003.

Elliott said the CREATE Foundation, a Tupelo-based nonprofit dedicated to regional development in Northeast Mississippi, provides a grant to the Carl Small Town Center to teach the class. This year, CREATE asked Elliott and Kemp to choose a community along the new Tanglefoot Trail, a 43-mile rails-to-trails project.

“We biked the trail, which was super fun, and ended up choosing a town called New Houlka,” Elliott said. “It’s a really small community. I don’t know much about it yet, but they’ve been really receptive to us.”

Over the course of the semester, the students in Elliott’s course will focus on getting to know the residents of New Houlka and creating designs to address their needs. Elliott said that in years past, the end result was usually a book of plans, sketches and blueprints for the town to implement on its own.

Although Elliott said compiling designs will play a role this year, she’s hoping the students get their hands dirty and actually carry out one of their recommendations.

“What we’re doing differently this year is that we’re saying, especially in these really small towns, (a book of plans) is often not enough to get people going,” Elliott said. “What we’re going to try to do is see if we can get a little energy going and hopefully give students a little more hands-on experience. As we’re getting these big ideas, we’re also getting small ideas, and we’re going to pick one and implement it.”

The project the students tackle, Elliott said, might not even fall into what most people consider architectural. It may be something as small as repainting New Houlka’s fire hydrants with a vibrant new design that brings a little life to the town.

Elliott calls that “doing something real,” a mantra she’s also brought to her work on the Baptist Town Project. Elliott said the Economic Development Foundation has had a master plan, produced by the Carl Small Town Center, on file since 2010 but hadn’t made many steps toward turning those lofty ideas into tangible results.

When she came on board at the beginning of the year, Elliott soon learned that the grant funding for the project, provided by the Foundation for the Mid-South, was set to expire in July 2013.

“I started Jan. 1 thinking I was going to do new housing, rehab housing, build a community center, parks, entryways and infrastructure over my three years,” Elliott said. “It turned out all the funding I’d gotten for that was over the first six months.”

Elliott said she realized she’d have to focus all her energies on completing one aspect of the project and quickly zeroed in on using donated Katrina cottages as affordable housing units in the historic but largely impoverished neighborhood in Greenwood.

Elliott said it was extremely difficult when a number of setbacks, including the failure of a bill in the Legislature to allow the city of Greenwood to donate the cottages, resulted in the Economic Development Foundation losing the grant and the project being delayed.

Elliott didn’t give up on the cottages project and continues to work toward getting it back on track. She said, however, the last thing she wanted to do was sit around and do nothing after that idea hit roadblocks.

So she set to work and has been busy building new sidewalks and putting up new street signs and neighborhood entrance markers in Baptist Town. Five MSU architecture students came to Greenwood in May.

Working with Brantley Snipes, a landscape architect and the executive director of Main Street Greenwood, they designed and built a small “pocket park” at the corner of McCain Street and Stevens Avenue. In October, volunteers from GE Capital built a new playground in a park on Avenue A that Elliott planned with extensive input from neighborhood children.

“We got a lot accomplished,” Elliott said. “There are some very visible signs of progress that continue to happen in Baptist Town.”

As her fellowship continues, Elliott said she hopes to effect further improvements in Baptist Town but also broaden the focus of her work. Working with the Carl Small Town Center, Elliott would like to look at projects in other areas of South Greenwood, to work with other towns in the state facing similar issues and possibly even partner with state agencies to improve the design of low-income housing developments.

“A lot of people think being a good-looking place is just about aesthetics, but, especially at a neighborhood or city scale, it’s a lot more than that,” Elliott said. “It’s about inspiring people to spend their money there, buy houses there or live there at all.”

Collaborative Studio ends semester with ribbon cutting ceremony

December 11th, 2013 Comments Off

web ribbon cutting 12022013_24

Philadelphia bus shelter and students with MS Band of Choctaw Indian Chief Phyliss J. Anderson. Steve Murray, planner for the MS Band of Choctaw Indians, said the design has been well-received. “It looks like it’s got elements of the Choctaw culture,” he said, adding that the design looks like a basket.

web ribbon cutting 12022013_39

Tucker bus shelter and students

Second-year building construction science and architecture students have been working together this semester in a collaborative studio with Professors Lee Carson, Alexis Gregory, Hans Herrmann, Emily McGlohn (all architecture) and Tom Leathem (building construction science).

Throughout the semester, the students researched, designed and constructed two bus shelters for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

On Dec. 2, students and faculty from the Collaborative Studio celebrated at the two locations at Pearl River and Tucker.

The group was joined by first-year architecture and building constructions science students and faculty; Dean Jim West; Michael Berk, director of the School of Architecture; and Dr. David C. Lewis, director of the Building Construction Science Program. Also present were Steve Murray, planner with the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians;  the Tribal Council and other representatives; and Chief Phyliss J. Anderson.

Anderson welcomed and briefly addressed the group before the ribbon cutting.

“It’s always a blessing to have a relationship with the institute of education,” she said, adding that the bus shelter project is something that the students should be very proud of.

The chief then presented College of Architecture, Art and Design Dean Jim West with a handmade basket.

West thanked Anderson and said the on-going partnership has been a win/win for the college, and he explained some of the other projects the college has worked on with the MS Band of Choctaw Indians.

The first project was in 2009 when the college’s Carl Small Town Center assisted the tribe in preparing a Transit Plan with funding through the Federal Transit Administration’s Tribal Transit Program.  The study was used to support several projects, including the new Transit Maintenance Center, which was recently completed.

Herrmann’s class constructed the first bus stop for Bogue Chitto a few years ago, and this year, two more bus stops were designed and built by the Collaborative Studio for Pearl River and Tucker. There are plans for more bus stops to be built for the community next year.

“It’s been a breath of fresh air to have young people come in and work with us,” said Murray. “They’ve thought about ideas we hadn’t thought about.”

Watch the video from the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Read the story on MSU’s website.

Read more about the Collaborative Studio here.

Check out the video about the class created by MSU student Nikki Arellana for a TV Production course.

Working on the shelters:

 

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