This story originally appeared in The Advocate-Messenger.
Several Centre College students presented ideas for growing and improving economic activity in downtown Danville during a special meeting at Danville City Hall Tuesday.
The students worked with different EDP partners, including the Danville-Boyle County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Heart of Danville, Main Street Perryville, Danville-Boyle County Chamber of Commerce and the Boyle County Industrial Foundation for the project.
The students conducted their research as part of a CentreTerm class taught by Patten Mahler, assistant professor of economics at the College. CentreTerm classes are special classes held in between Centre’s normal semesters.
Three students, Davis Kannapell ’19, Jessie Hale ’19 and Rachel Wheeler ’19 presented on how to get Centre recruits and prospectives, students and their families outside of campus. They proposed providing brochures and information about Danville businesses to families and prospective students when they visit campus.
Students Lena Jewler ’18 and Tyler Stevenson ’19 said improved lighting and signage could help bring more millennials downtown. They also suggested a millennial event night that would involve the downtown businesses staying open later and offering student discounts.
Jewler and Stevenson said longer-term goals should include bringing more lodging, restaurant and bar options to downtown.
Another group of students, including Amaryst Parks ’18 and Will Schein ’19, presented on Perryville. They endorsed the long-pursued goal of preserving Perryville’s historic buildings and getting businesses to move in.
The students suggested that Perryville implement different funding sources to help, including a restaurant tax.
A group of students including Ian Johnson ’19, Hans Stromberg ’19 and Hendley Traughber ’19 encouraged investment in early childhood education because of the long-term benefits it has for individuals and the greater community.
According to the students, an issue in Danville-Boyle County is that there aren’t enough daycares available. There are also a number of families who can’t afford to send their children to daycare, they said.
The last two groups of students worked with the Boyle County Industrial Foundation.
Students Cooper Hall ’19 and Jacob Heine ’19 said Danville could become a “future hub for emerging industries.” The best way to work toward that goal would be to improve and expand internet access, they said.
Students Micah Kaiser ’19 and Keenan Jones ’19 discussed entrepreneurship and encouraged development of programs that would help generate new economic development ideas.
by Kerry Steinhofer, The Advocate-Messenger
February 2, 2017