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West End design workshop Oct. 19-20

SALISBURY — The city of Salisbury and Salisbury Housing Authority will host a two-day design workshop to come up with a plan to transform the West End neighborhood.
The design charrette is set for Oct. 19 and 20 at the West End Business & Community Center, 1400 W. Bank St.
The event will generate visual concepts and ideas of how the Civic Park and West End area may appear following the transformation. Funding for the charrette is part of a $170,000 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development earlier this year.
Public participation in the West End Design Charrette will be offered:
• Oct. 19
8:30–10:30 a.m. Introduction and review of the project
10:30-11:30 a.m. Public comments and open discussion
• Oct. 20
7–9 p.m. Public presentation and discussion
Following the project introduction, public comment and discussion sessions Oct. 19, attending architects and designers will utilize that afternoon and evening to create conceptual plans and drawings. Design work will continue from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Oct. 20.
Anyone may drop in and observe the creative process during these times.
The city and Housing Authority were named as co-recipients of the Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant.
“We encourage our citizens to attend this two-day workshop and share their creative ideas, insight and vision as together we work to promote long-term viability and revitalization in our West End Community,” Mayor Susan Kluttz said in a press release. “Our goal is to continuously foster and improve all areas throughout our city and we are sincerely grateful to have received the Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant.”
By improving and fostering an appreciation for Salisbury’s neighborhoods, the city takes strong steps in securing a sense of pride and distinctiveness for future generations, Kluttz said.
The design charrette will offer people an opportunity to view potential designs, including replacement public housing, rehabilitation of existing buildings, a commercial center, parks, streets and public amenities, Senior Planner Janet Gapen said.
The goal of the Choice Neighborhoods program is to transform neighborhoods of concentrated poverty into mixed-income neighborhoods by revitalizing distressed public housing and the surrounding neighborhood, Gapen said.
The program promotes investments in well-functioning services and public assets, improved access to jobs and economic opportunities, and effective schools and educational programs for all ages.
Organizers hope to complete the transformation plan within 18 months.
Once finalized, the local plan will compete for a federal Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant of up to $31 million. Leaders will seek additional funding sources to carry out the plan if it is not chosen for implementation by the federal government.
“The Choice Neighborhood initiative is a unique opportunity for the entire city of Salisbury to pool our ideas, abilities and resources to improve the quality of life and help fulfill the dreams of the residents of Civic Park and the West End,” Salisbury Housing Authority Director Sam Foust said. “I am thrilled to see the excitement and hope that our Public Forum and planning meetings have generated.
“Together we can truly make a positive difference for current and future generations to come.”
For more information regarding the West End Design Charrette, call Gapen at 704-638-5230.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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