Clemson students help design town’s future – Williamston

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By David Meade

An Urban Design and Landscape Architecture Class from Clemson University is in the process of evaluating Williamston’s downtown area to come up with working concepts of a redesigned downtown core commercial area. The students are under the direction of Clemson professor Thomas Schurch and are doing the project as an instructional practice at the request of Williamston Mayor Mack Durham.

An initial presentation was made Monday which included preliminary ideas and concepts developed by the three teams of three Master Urban Design students.

The project includes analysis, synthesis, design/development and implementation, according to Schurch. The project encompasses looking at the area from Oak St. to Gossett St. and Williams St. to Austin St. The project also attempts to define a Main St. and Commerical District and other improvements for the town.

The concepts presented included new residential developments, new business/commercial buildings along Main St. and Town Square Center and other ideas to develop a town square area in the vicinity of the current Town Square Center and parking lot. Other ideas included small retail businesses and restaurants located in those buildings and redesigned parking areas.

During their first meeting with Mayor Durham and others, they discussed a need to increase density, create definition and improve walkability in the downtown area.

More developed ideas will be presented to town officials and others interested in the town’s future in subsequent presentations, Mayor Durham said.

A final conceptual design could be integrated into other plans being developed for the town including parks and recreation, trails, an arts center and the new Main St. South Carolina program the town is participating in.