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Southeast TN Development District

Below are the project summaries for the outstanding set of projects our faculty and students will be engaging in over the 2015-16 SCI year. We hope you will also check out the graphic posters for these projects.

The SETDD’s full SCI proposal with expanded project descriptions is available upon request.

Project Summaries

Regional Projects

This Public Health course is designed to assess the health needs and provisions for Gruetli-Laager, Tennessee that will facilitate aging in place. This plan is meant to aid in the development of a future aging in place best practices plan for the Southeast Tennessee Regional Aging Consortium. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines aging in place as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.” The overarching goal is to discover what is unique about Gruetli-Laager and to better understand how to help the community provide services and facilities that will allow for aging in place. This project includes collaboration and follow-up involvement from UT Extension. (Faculty Lead: Cristina Barroso / SETDD Lead: Leigh McClure)

This Landscape Architecture and Civil & Environmental Engineering project will develop a vision plan for a greenway and trail system to connect destinations in the greater Chattanooga region. The first step is to complete an inventory of existing and planned greenways, trails – plus natural areas, recreation parks and other potential greenway destinations. Once an inventory is complete, potential routes that enhance regional connectivity between these destinations and connect existing greenways to the larger system can be identified. Route planning needs to be influenced by careful consideration of land-use analysis, environmental considerations, implementation feasibility, community benefits, and project impact. Evaluate project alternatives using standardized evaluation methods. (Faculty Lead: Tracy Moir-McClean / SETDD Lead: Chuck Hammonds)

In this project, students from Evaluation and Assessment will develop and implement an assessment plan to inform community health and health needs in the Sequatchie valley, and strategies to address those needs. Students analyze, among other things, the relationships among economic and health factors across the area. They will also engage Extension specialists and educators in the Sequatchie Valley to design follow-up research and community initiatives. (Faculty Lead: Gary Skolits / SETDD Lead: Leigh McClure)

Recognizing Tennessee’s current vulnerability to the impacts of severe hazard events, including but not limited to natural and manmade disasters and crises, the students enrolled in this Political Science course will undertake a thorough, forward-thinking approach to the region’s hazard mitigation planning process. Work will include reviewing various disaster preparedness policies and procedures, scenarios and simulations with the ultimate goal of recommending improvements to same. Students will develop resources to improve emergency preparedness and disaster readiness at the local and regional level.  (Faculty Lead: Joe Jarret / SETDD Lead: Michael Frixen)

Students in this Economics course will perform a detailed study of the economic benefits that the region gains from its water resources. The study will analyze water-dependent businesses, tourism activities, and special events. Analysis will examine exported economic sectors; impacts on hotels, restaurants, airports, and other hospitality industries; increased tax revenues for local governments; and other impacts. This project will be undertaken alongside the Water Quality Improvement Plan course in Landscape Architecture. (Faculty Lead: Ben Compton / SETDD Lead: Michael Frixen)

This Landscape Architecture course will develop recommendations that will improve physical, chemical, and biological health of impaired water bodies in the region. Students should identify best management practices to reduce non-point pollution and improve watershed health across a diverse range of geographic conditions. Staff has long advocated for improvements in stormwater planning and green infrastructure—this project will build on these previous and ongoing efforts and help present information in an accessible and educational matter. This project may be followed by design and implementation of demonstration projects, which SETDD staff believe could excite other communities and result in additional water quality improvement projects across the region. (Faculty Lead: Brad Collett / SETDD Lead: Jordan Clark)

Students in this Architecture course will work to increase education and awareness about the regional sites of the Trail of Tears, with a focus on choreographed sensory experiences that encourage on-site engagement and interactive understanding. Students will develop comprehensive design strategies that draw upon the concept of the memorial landscape, applicable to the physical memory places along the Native American displacement route (strategies to address both nodes where historic events took place and the connecting linear routes of passage). Trail of Tears Commemorative Landscapes will offer students a case study through which they will apply various theoretical and conceptual lessons introduced in the seminar (focus on sensory perception and the interactive landscape memorial). They will explore the potential and limitations of architecture, landscape architecture, and installations to communicate with an intended audience and better understand how history and culture may affect design. (Faculty Lead: Katherine Ambroziak / SETDD Lead: Melissa Mortimer)

This History course will introduce students to Cherokee History through the use of focused research assignments on individual Cherokee people. Each student will follow one individual and their descendants through the archival sources over time. For the purposes of the SCI project with SETDD, students will be focusing on individuals who resided in the Hiwassee area at the time of removal. Students will gather and organize materials in research portfolios throughout the term. In addition to writing a children’s biography about the person they have studied, students will write a longer paper examining the contours and major turning points of Cherokee History examined by historians, but with careful attention to how the individual’s life they have studied either reinforces, challenges, or complicates the narratives written by scholars. Additionally, the students will share their research portfolios with officials at the Hiwassee Heritage Center and SETDD for their use as they move forward with projects that highlight the history of Cherokee removal from the region and the unique experiences of individual Cherokees who experienced the full impact of removal policy. (Faculty Lead: Julie Reed / SETDD Lead: Chuck Hammonds)

Students in this Law course will work under the supervision of a licensed attorney to conduct legal research on regional healthcare authorities (RHCAs). Areas of inquiry could include where RHCAs exist, why and how they were formed, how they are managed, funding and revenue structures, and what services they offer. Students may also investigate federal, state, and local laws and regulations that may relate to the proposal, creation, and/or management of RHCAs, as well as best practices. Findings will be used to inform feasibility and prospective implementation strategies for RHCAs. (Faculty Leads: Brad Morgan, Doug Blaze / SETDD Lead: Beth Jones)

Project 10. Regional Assets & Opportunities [Thirteen-County TN-GA Region]

Graphic Design students involved in this project will explore identity and messaging strategies to promote the assets and opportunities of the southeast region. Areas of inquiry could include points of community pride, regional landmarks, tourism and marketing opportunities, economic development strengths, and other place-based assets. Students will develop concept proposals that can be used to promote the unique qualities of the region, and will present a variety of possible visual concepts in line with salient themes. (Faculty Lead: Deb Shmerler / SETDD Lead: Sarah Williams)

Students in this Economics course will update the regional economic report originally completed for the Tri-State Regional Workforce Alliance in 2010. Research components will consider the region’s workforce, education, economy, demographics, industries, and assets as they pertain to the following demand sectors: advanced manufacturing, information technology, health care, and transportation/logistics. Impact areas could include updated regional economic and population data, identification of skills gaps between labor and industry, and new economic development and training opportunities. (Faculty Lead: Ben Compton / SETDD Lead: Rick Layne)

County Projects

An abandoned railroad track provides an opportunity to expand the McMinn County greenway system. Students in this Civil & Environmental Engineering course will develop a master plan for the McMinn County greenway system, map and conceptualize future phases, and conduct projections and feasibility analyses. The 6 miles of track existing between Athens and Englewood has already been partially prepared for conversion to a greenway trail. The railroad tracks have been removed and the length of the site has been leveled, compacted, and, in some locations, grass cover exists. While the length of trail has seen some development, further work is necessary to appropriately link the trail to the existing system and develop the length suitable for all potential users. Impact areas include: economic, social, health, and environmental benefits from greenway system. (Faculty Lead: Jenny Retherford / SETDD Lead: Chad Reese)

Students from this Civil & Environmental Engineering course will conduct a wastewater management analysis for the Pelham Industrial Park, located in Grundy County, TN. The park is a prime industrial location seeking to recruit new industrial partners. The park infrastructure is currently limited by water and sewer availability, negatively impacting potential growth. An analysis of utility conditions, projected utility needs, and recommendations for solutions to existing concerns is required. In addition to water and sewer utilities, review of power utilities as well as site preparation planning, including cut and fill needs, is desired. Impact areas include: enhanced sewer capacity, decreased environmental degradation, and new economic development opportunities. Students will evaluate potential improvements to an existing wastewater system. Assess capacity and condition of existing sewer infrastructure. (Faculty Lead: Jenny Retherford / SETDD Lead: Chuck Hammonds)

The goal of this Architecture project is to increase public recreational access and convention space in Rhea County. The project will provide additional lodging for the increasingly popular bass-fishing tournaments being held in nearby Dayton, and moreover provide meeting facilities for businesses and other convention groups in the region. This includes conducting detailed preliminary site analysis and incorporating sustainable design techniques will preserve the integrity the Watts Bar Lake and the surrounding ecosystem. Students will focus on developing a conceptual master plan for Watts Bar Resort, and explore prototypes for energy-efficient resort housing and facility modules that can be pre-fabricated off-site and installed with minimal impact on site air/water quality, vegetation, and ecology. Students will envision, design and illustrate proposals for proposed buildings and prominent spaces. Emphasis is placed on design and illustration of the total project cycle from material sourcing, pre-fabrication, site preparation, installation and daily operation of the installed facility. (Faculty Lead: Tracy Moir-McClean / SETDD Lead: Chuck Hammonds)

Municipal and Other Projects

Students in this Agricultural Economics course will develop a self-sustaining business and operating model for the new farmer’s market that is being constructed in Pikeville. This involves creating a plan to cultivate a network of local farmers who will help promote and sell their products at the market. The plan must address marketing, funding, staffing, scheduling and other essential components to ensure market success. (Faculty Leads: David Hughes & Bill Park / SETDD Lead: Leigh McClure)

This Architecture course is meant to provide site-based and architectural programming options for the future design, development, and use of Bledsoe State Forest as an educational and tourist destination. Students will inventory, analyze, and document relevant physical and cultural conditions for development of Bledsoe State Forest and surrounding areas for future public use. They will also provide a conceptual programmatic and design master plan for the site and surrounding areas. (Faculty Lead: Scott Wall / SETDD Lead: Melissa Mortimer)

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