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Wendy Reuer, Published May 03 2012

NDSU architectural students develop ideas for Kindred

KINDRED, N.D. – Little changes could make a big impact on this small town of about 700, say a group of North Dakota State University architect students.

Nearly 20 fourth-year students have been working with the city this semester in an urban design class led by professor Don Faulkner.

After meeting with residents and city leaders earlier this spring to hear what they say are the city’s hopes and challenges for future growth, students presented options to achieve those goals Thursday night.

Residents told students that while they were proud of the school, churches and football stadium, they wanted to see a downtown revitalization and more sidewalks.

Residents hoped to capitalize on the city’s history and unique identity.

On Thursday, students touched on strategies for growth and redevelopment as well as some ideas Mayor Wayne Lunder said the city could easily implement.

“There are simple things you can do with the downtown. Instead of demolishing buildings, renovate them,” said senior Paul Flotterud.

Students suggested adding lighting and more signage around town, pointing visitors to attractions.

“Good lighting, use of sidewalks and signage are stepping stones to the future. They can actually play a really big role in bringing people in to the city,” senior Amanda Mauch said.

Mauch suggested adding signs that highlight the small town’s attractions on the interstate as well.

“That would bring visitors in and let them know what Kindred has to offer,” Mauch said.

Students also highlighted six key projects that seemed to be at the top of the community’s wish list and offered suggestions for locations: a day care, restaurant, larger community center, city park, senior living area and a medical center.

Development around the airport is also a possibility for attracting visitors, the students said.

Although current plans for a Red River diversion have threatened to wipe out many homes in the school district, it doesn’t appear to have a big effect on the city, Lunder said.

The town grew by more than 15 percent after the last census and continues to grow. The city is in the middle of updating its Kindred 2020 plan, a comprehensive growth plan. A new high school is under construction and expected to open this fall.

Lunder said he was very impressed by the students’ work and suggestions.

“I really liked the idea of adding some green space,” Lunder said.

Faulkner said copies of the students’ reports will be made available to the city as well as a three-day model they planned to leave at City Hall.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530