Grad students offer Dalton ideas for makeover

Grad students offer Dalton ideas for makeover

February 23rd, 2011 by Staff Report in News

DALTON, Ga. -- A farmers market, community gardens, more greenspaces and ways of connecting different parts of Dalton are some student concepts for revitalizing six areas of the city.

Graduate students from the Savannah College of Art and Design created a project known as "Next Steps for Dalton" during two classes taught last fall at the college.

The architectural and design management students presented their ideas for renovations in an exhibit and a video Saturday at the Creative Arts Guild. The event was hosted by the Dalton City Council, Savannah College of Art and Design and the guild.

Helen Johnson and Josh McManus, co-founders of Create Here, a nonprofit Chattanooga organization, attended to share their experiences in community visioning, arts, economic and cultural development.

Ty Ross, city administrator, said Dalton paid about $18,000 last year to sponsor the classes.

"Basically, we engaged them as consultants for ideas of what we should look like in the future," Ross said. "We have an aging demographic and were looking for some outside-the-box opinions to attract people -- to become a community of thinkers and creators."

Last week, members of the Creative Arts Guild tacked exhibits on display cases and hung master design plans for the six areas of the project.

In the designs, Crown Mill, Fort Hill, Spring Square, the area north of Waugh Street, downtown Dalton and the entrance into the downtown area have widened streets and more pedestrian and bike routes.

One of the major themes throughout the displays involved ideas on how to connect different areas of Dalton. The students also proposed a more defined entrance to the city by creating a roundabout at the intersection of Thornton and Walnut avenues.

The exhibit remains on display at the Creative Arts Guild and eventually may be moved to City Hall, Ross said.

Contact staff writer Mariann Martin at mmartin@timesfreepress.com or 706-980-5824.