West Virginia Universitys Community Design Team (CDT) is ready to help another community in the state plan for its future with a visit to Mount Hope Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 5-7.
Typically comprised of 15-20 University professors, staff members, students and community members, each team is put together to meet the needs of the different communities.
Each community is a little different. The focus can range from general improvement to addressing civic issues to maintaining or increasing tourism,said Meghan Stalebrink, CDT program coordinator.
Professionals in the areas of landscape architecture, interior design, marketing, historic preservation, regional economics, as well as students majoring in landscape architecture, will be on hand to help the community of Mount Hope address several key issues: attracting new businesses to the community, improving roads, improving the towns physical appearance and expanding youth programs and activities.
Mutual trust between community members and the CDT is vital to the process, Stalebrink said. To help build that bridge, CDT members will stay with host families during the three-day visit to the Fayette County community.
The team will spend Friday, Oct. 6, getting to know the needs of the community based on ideas presented by its members. On Saturday, Oct. 7, the CDT will generate ideas, create and give a presentation of their recommendations.
After the initial presentation, the team strives to provide the community with a written report four to six weeks later and six-month follow-up.
The CDT charges a nominal fee of $4,000, which is used to cover general operating expenses and the production of the subsequent report. It is estimated that the community receives approximately $20,000 dollars in time and expertise from the team members.
The team has advised communities in more than half of the counties within the state and is working to connect with other departments in the University and expand the connections already in place with the College of Business and Economics, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences and the Health Sciences Center, as well as connect with experts from the community.
We have a wonderful group of individuals who have been working on this team, but wed like to go beyond the University and connect with other members in the community and provide them with the opportunity to serve,said Peter Schaffer, professor of resource management and coordinator of the Mount Hope visit.It really introduces you to the hidden treasures of the state.
The Community Design Team is a program of the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences Division of Resource Management with contributions from WVU Extension Service and numerous agencies and organizations.