Master Planner for College Hill Corridor to Hold Meeting on Wednesday

November 18, 2008

Josh Rogers
College Hill Corridor Commission
(478) 803-2436


Mark Vanderhoek
Mercer University
(478) 301-4037

MACON — The firm that is planning the new design for the College Hill Corridor will present the results of its study of the area during a meeting in Newton Chapel on Mercer’s Macon campus at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 19.

The Corridor includes the areas around the Mercer campus and along College Street into downtown Macon. The Corridor was a project begun by Mercer students in 2006 as a revitalization effort to help make Macon more accessible and attractive to the Mercer community and connect the University to downtown.

The Master Planning team, led by Scott Page at Interface Studio, has collected data and analyzed the existing conditions within the College Hill Corridor and will present the results of its extensive study at the meeting. The study, which includes input from the community from a number of earlier meetings, is part of the development of the final design plan for the Corridor. Following the meeting Wednesday, Interface will return in the third week of December to present its draft design plan and will complete the final plan by Jan. 31, 2009.

Interface Studio LLC, of Philadelphia, Pa., was selected in September by the College Hill Corridor Commission as the lead design firm for the Corridor.  The goal of Interface is not only to design a plan that the community wants and needs, but also to create a realistic plan that can be executed over the next few years. As the Mercer students who initiated the project found, creating a walkable, bikeable and enjoyable connection between Mercer and downtown is critical to attracting and retaining creative talent to Macon’s schools and businesses.

The work on the master plan is being funded through generous planning grants to Mercer University from the Community Foundation of Central Georgia and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The grants include money for a College Hill Corridor master plan and to develop an alliance of stakeholders within the Macon community, which could eventually lead to a full-fledged multi-neighborhood redevelopment effort.  Modeled after the University Park Alliance in Akron, Ohio, the new College Hill Alliance would expand the University’s and the City of Macon’s efforts to enhance the neighborhoods around the University.

About the College Hill Corridor Commission:
The College Hill Corridor Commission is a diverse commission co-created by the City of Macon and Mercer University to create a physical, cultural and social path to connect Mercer University and downtown.  Along the way, the Commission intends to make the Corridor bike and pedestrian friendly, add economic value to the city's tax base, beautify residential and commercial areas, attract and retain creative young professionals and program fun public events.  For more information, visit www.collegehillcorridor.com.

About Mercer University:
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University has approximately 7,700 students; 11 schools and colleges– liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies; major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah; three regional academic centers across the state; a university press; two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center and the Medical Center of Central Georgia; educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta; an engineering research center in Warner Robins; a performing arts center in Macon; and a NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit www.mercer.edu.
 
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