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SU students bring home $25,000 for Syracuse’s Wilson Park Community Center
SU students bring home $25,000 for Syracuse’s Wilson Park Community CenterMay 11, 2001Judy Holmesjlholmes@syr.edu
An interdisciplinary team of students from Syracuse University’s Community Design Center (CDC) in the School of Architecture won first place in the final round of the 2001 JP Morgan Chase Community Development Competition May 8 in New York City. The $25,000 first prize will go toward helping residents of the city’s Pioneer Homes public housing project realize their dream to expand the Wilson Park Community Center, located at 1001 S. McBride St. “This was a superb team effort that was focused and didn’t rattle easily under pressure,” says School of Architecture Dean Bruce Abbey. “The students did a terrific job. Best of all it was an affirmation and vote of confidence for the Wilson Park project. Congratulations to everyone involved.” The Chase competition is designed to foster partnerships between universities and community-based nonprofit institutions to present design and financing proposals for real-world projects. During the final round, the SU team, under the tutelage of Dave Gamble, assistant professor and director of the CDC, competed against teams from Hunter College and Columbia University. In order to get to the final round, the teams first submit their written proposal and drawings to a panel of experts, which then invites a select few to present before a jury of 19 professionals in a preliminary round, which was held April 24. Three teams are selected to move to the final round. Second- and third- place teams receive $10,000 and $5,000, respectively. “JP Morgan Chase is pleased to sponsor this unique competition, and we congratulate the team from Syracuse University for their outstanding contribution to the field of community development,” says Mark Willis, executive vice president of the JP Morgan Chase Community Development Group, based in New York City. “The team effectively demonstrated the importance of coordination, collaboration and a willingness to establish new bonds in the community.” The CDC partnered with Concerned Urban Parents (CUP Inc.), the Syracuse Housing Authority and the Syracuse Department of Parks and Recreation on a proposal that would double the size of the Wilson Park Community Center. The new space would be used for a variety of programs, the centerpiece of which would be a proposed 30-station Computer-Based Learning Center. Programming for the new center would be provided through a partnership between the University’s Public Affairs Program in The Maxwell School, under the direction of Professor William Coplin, and Wilson Park. Funding for the expansion and the programming would come from a variety of private, nonprofit and government sources. “The JP Morgan Chase Community Development Competition is an excellent example of interdisciplinary learning,” Gamble says. “The students were encouraged to work together to find creative ways to finance the proposal while also developing a design that the community wanted and could afford.” The SU team members are Matthew Brown and Amy Farina from the School of Architecture; Nicole Allen and Erik Limpitlaw from the College of Law; Steve Hanmer, a public administration major in The Maxwell School; Sid Abrol, an M.B.A. student in the School of Management; and Sarah Korf, a policy studies major in The College of Arts and Sciences. “Through hard work and the partnerships that the SU team has cultivated, the entire community of Syracuse will be strengthened by the learning center at Wilson Park,” says Nancy Wiggs, Chase community relations vice president for Upstate New York. For more than 125 years, the School of Architecture at Syracuse University has been dedicated to the professional education of architects who shape the physical environment and give meaning to built form. Students receive a strong grounding in design and take a broad range of technical and liberal arts electives. The five-year undergraduate program leads to a bachelor of architecture degree; graduate programs include a first professional master of architecture degree as well as two post-professional degrees. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM, www.jpmorganchase.com) is a premier global financial services firm with assets in excess of $705 billion and operations in over 60 countries. The firm is a leader in investment banking, asset management, private equity, consumer banking, private banking, e-finance and community development. Headquartered in New York, JPMorgan Chase serves 32 million consumer customers and over 5,000 corporate, institutional and government clients.