Thursday, December 14th, 2017

Students to offer ideas about downtown

Posted: Friday, June 3, 2011

Ball State University students studying urban planning are visiting Huntington’s downtown area through July. The group plans to offer ideas to Huntington’s various planning and development groups with ideas aimed at making the downtown more attractive and inviting to businesses.

The group of six students will focus on downtown beautification, parking availability and ease of visitors being able to find the downtown area from the highways. Nate Schacht, director of the Huntington Countywide Department of Community Development, said the group will also look at the occupancy rate of downtown buildings and find ways to make the area a mixed-use zone of residential, commercial and industrial areas.

The group plans to have booths set up at Heritage Days and the 4-H Fair to gather community input on what residents think should be improved upon, according to Scott Truex, the Ball State professor with the College of Architecture and Planning leading the project. In mid-July, the students will host a three-day community workshop open to the public that will allow local residents to interact with the group’s findings.

Truex said the study is looking at redevelopment opportunities for the downtown and the group’s intent is to use several events coming up to get community input. We want our work to lead to consensus-building and real vision, he continued. The study in Huntington is part of a larger project, the “Community-Based Project’ program at Ball State, which allows groups of planning students to study different cities in Indiana to help those municipalities improve some aspect of their future growth and development.

By the end of the summer, the students will present a full report of their findings for use by local officials and leaders. Schacht said it will help guide us as a community and will be a document that the DCD and Main Street Huntington will use.

Interested residents can follow the group’s progress and offer suggestions online at www.imaginehuntington.org, on Facebook by searching “Imagine Huntington” and on Twitter at imagine_huntington.