Fayetteville, W.Va., often described asthe Gateway to the New River Gorge,is the next destination for West Virginia Universitys Community Design Team (CDT).

The CDT , a multidisciplinary group of WVU faculty, students and staff along with others from the public and private sectors, will lead Fayetteville citizens through an intensive planning process Thursday through Saturday, March 15-March 17.

Fayetteville is a community in transition,said Meghan Stalebring, CDT program coordinator.They have strong community interest in smart growth, recreational activities and tourism, small businesses, improving accessibility for the handicapped, and the arts.

The Fayetteville team will consist of experts from WVU s programs in agribusiness management and rural development, business and economics, civil engineering, history, landscape architecture, and recreation, parks and tourism resources, along with agents from WVU Extension and a representative of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History.

Mutual trust between community members and the CDT is vital to a successful visit, 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 getting to know the needs of the community based on ideas presented by its citizens. On Saturday, the CDT will generate ideas, create and give a presentation of their recommendations.

The Saturday presentation at 6:30 p.m. will be held at Fayetteville High School and is open to the public.

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.

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 Stalebrink.It really introduces you to the hidden treasures of the state.

The Fayetteville team will be led by Ron Eck, professor of civil engineering in WVU s College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, and Michael Dougherty, Extension SpecialistState and Local Public Finance.

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.