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UK students will assist in downtown planning

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Could provide a 'spark plug' idea

By Kelly Cantrall

Downtown Elizabethtown’s revitalization is receiving assistance from design students in Lexington this fall.

Students from the University of Kentucky will travel to Elizabethtown in October to brainstorm ideas for revitalization of the area.

Details of the project were shared Thursday at a downtown improvement meeting by Douglas Appler, an assistant professor of historic preservation at UK. 

The students are participating in a charrette, an intense period of design and planning that generally involves multiple parties. Students from several departments of the college, including historic preservation, interior design, architecture and possibly landscape architecture, will take part, Appler said.

“It should be a pretty exciting event,” he said.

The students arrive in Elizabethtown on Oct. 11. They will explore downtown and then spend the next couple days brainstorming ideas and solutions to the issues that the area faces, Appler said. There might be a public forum the morning the students begin their work, he said.

The students will present ideas Oct. 24 at the next downtown improvement meeting, he said.

Appler said he is excited about the possibilities that could come from the exercise, and he joked about the ideas that could be presented.

“I guarantee they’ll have some strange ideas, but they might have some good ones, too,” he said, laughing.

While the charrette gives the students a real town to consider and serves as a lesson for them in their programs of study, Larry Black of LHB Architects, who attended the meeting, said it is more than an academic exercise. Black has participated in other charrettes and said good, applicable ideas can be generated from them.

“It sort of could be a spark plug, if you will,” Black said.

Kelly Cantrall can be

reached at (270) 505-1747 or kcantrall@thenewsenterprise.com.