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

April 4th, 2014 Comments Off on Painting the town in New Houlka: School of Architecture featured on WTVA

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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.

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