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What would you want the city of Springfield to look like in the year 2030? This question was posed to students who accepted the City of Springfield’s first-ever Community Visioning Challenge. After months of preparation, four teams of students presented their plans to city and county representatives Tuesday. KSMU’s Adam Murphy reports.
Four teams of students from Ozarks Technical Community College, Drury University, Evangel University, and Springfield Public Schools gathered opinions from the community to find out what they want to see in Springfield’s future. The teams identified specific factors including housing, recreation, the downtown area, sustainability, and the job market, as some of the things people are concerned about when deciding whether or not to stay in Springfield. After submitting detailed plans, the teams presented their ideas to City Council.
The team from Evangel University won the top prize for the work they put into their community visioning plan. Derek Neill, a senior management and marketing major at Evangel, was a member of the winning team. He said the students were glad to have this opportunity for a dialogue with city leaders.
“It was really great to actually be involved in the community because at this stage of our lives we still haven’t been given that opportunity. But being empowered to really have a say in what the city could possibly be implementing was great,” Neill said.
Evangel’s plan addressed implementing more activities downtown other than clubs and bars and developing the area surrounding the Springfield-Branson National Airport. The team also identified areas of improvement in infrastructure, the economy, community life, and the environment. Neill says that the city can see these changes happen by 2030.
“It’s going to take some work. I know a lot of our ideas were probably very out there, very broad, and can be overwhelming, but I think if they take it step by step, it can be achieved,” said Neill.
The winning team received a plaque and tickets to a Springfield Cardinals game where they will be recognized for their award.
For KSMU News, I’m Adam Murphy.