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Vision for K-State Students Becomes Reality

K-State Students designed ways to improve Downtown St. Joseph.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) What started as a vision for 14 Kansas State University students, is coming to life.

"Getting here, on the ground, looking at our site that we're particularly looking at feels reality now," said Erin Wilson, KSU Student.

Landscape and Architecture students, like Wilson, wanted to improve areas of St. Joseph.

So, they came up with designs and presented them to local officials for feedback.

"Really started with a conversation with Mo-Kan, and the City of St. Joseph got interested, and they were willing to help us out in terms with providing us lots of information and support," said Blake Belanger, Associate Professor at Kansas State.

KSU, the City of St. Joseph, and Mo-Kan started this project the beginning of this year.

"For the last couple months, the students have been doing research and developing some concepts for these different sites," said Belanger.

"They've hit on several issues that we've talked about ourselves. They've come up with some creative ways to achieve the same goals," said Bruce Woody, St. Joseph City Manager.

Students came up with ideas like reconnecting downtown to the Riverfront, and re-purposing downtown parking lots.

Wilson, and her partner, want to redesign Felix Street.

"Making it a great place for businesses to have a farmer's market every week. We're also looking at creating an arts district. Something for local artists, for public art, and for performance venue," said Taylor Lininger, KSU Student.

KSU professors said this project is extremely beneficial to the university, and St. Joseph.

"It's contributing to our mission to be a top 50 research institution, and a big part of that is community engagement," said Belander.

"Creating an inviting place for all people to come. Not just St. Joseph residents," said Wilson.

KSU students will present their designs to St. Joseph City Council members in May.

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