York plans for future

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 6, 2005

YORK-The City of York has initiated a strategic master plan study with Auburn University’s Center for Architecture and Urban Studies in Birmingham. The idea for the plan is to have everyone help make a plan for York’s future and share their ideas for a better tomorrow in York.

The project is part of the Small Town Design Initiative and is sponsored by the Urban Studio, the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the City of York, municipal WORKSHOP, the Alabama Power Foundation and the Coleman Center for Arts and Culture.

Gary James, who works with the Coleman Center, said the city would work directly with Auburn. James said the University is no stranger to projects like this.

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“Cheryl Morgan is the director of the Urban Studios, which is an extension of Auburn,” James said. “They have been going out for years and putting together plans for cities.”

However, for things to go smoothly a plan must be put into place. James said they hoped to use some of the assets of the city already in place to improve their city.

“For us to get into the program we have to have a plan,” James said. “This way we can get our thoughts together and maximize the resources that we already have here and make for a better York.”

One such resource is the citizen’s. James said they would like to hear from people who have seen York change firsthand through the years.

“They are trying to get people to come in who have lived in York for a while to give their opinions and things they may know about York that others may not know,” James said. “They may be able to bring some historical item they may have into the master plan.”

The Coleman Center for Arts and Culture will also sponsor a community memory map as a means of getting the younger generation involved. They are asking the youth of the community to volunteer to get information from their friends and family and help design the future of their community.

Shana Berger, co-director of the Coleman Center, said they would love to see some of the younger minds in York put their thoughts into the mix.

“We are also trying to get a group of younger citizens like teenagers involved in this too to form a youth council that can sort of present a vision of what the youth see in York,” Berger said. “That would give some of the younger people around town a chance to participate and get them interested as well.”

If interested, they may contact the Coleman Center at 205-392-2005 or info@colemanarts.org.

The city will hold two Town Hall Meetings to discuss a strategy. The first meeting will take place Sept. 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the Hightower Center with refreshments provided by the city. The second meeting will be held on Oct. 3 after the York City Council meeting at the Hightower Center at 6 p.m.