Lockhart planning to conduct charrette

Community Design Solutions (CDS) has been hired by the Town of Lockhart through a Rural Business Enterprise Grant administered by the Catawba Regional Council of Governments to conduct a planning workshop or “charrette” in the Town of Lockhart on January 29-31.

A charrette is an intensive design-oriented revitalization program open to the public. A charrette combines creative, intense work sessions with public input sessions over a three-day time period.

“Charrette” is a French word meaning “little cart.” In the early days of architecture school, instructors would circulate with a cart to collect final drawings, and students would jump on the charrette and frantically put finishing touches on their drawings. This type of on-the-go activity is similar to the environment of the charrette process.

“The results of the charrette program have been pretty phenomenal,” said Randy Wilson, President of CDS. “All across America we have seen where they have created new businesses, jobs, private and public reinvestment, as well as landscaping and streetscaping enhancements, not to mention a newfound pride and enthusiasm in the community.”

The charrette process identifies tangible and intangible assets, presents design recommendations, preservation projects and promotional opportunities to the community, and creates excitement for citizens and both the private and public sectors. Wilson was among those that took part in the City of Chester’s charrette in 2006. It was recommended that Chester promote itself as a residential area; a charming place with a small-town atmosphere that is also close to big-city amenities. Some of the ideas have already been put into place, including extensive signage and recognizable “brand.” Some of the larger plans, like converting the Springsteen property into a residential area, putting a water park on the backlot and converting the former Brainerd property to an art college (with a downtown store to sell the art) have yet to come to fruition.

The ultimate goal for a charrette in the Town of Lockhart is to provide the community with an on-going, flexible work plan that they can use to guide the continued revitalization of their town and stimulate further economic growth.

Randy Wilson will facilitate the charrette and team members include: Tripp and Ben Muldrow and Joey Burton of Arnett Muldrow & Associates in Greenville, SC; Beppie LeGrand of Main Street South Carolina in Columbia, SC; Tom McGilloway of Mahan Rykiel Associates in Baltimore, MD; Martin Meek of Meek Campbell Associates in Spartanburg, SC; Andy Kalback of Kalback Planning & Design in Annapolis, MD; Irene Dumas Tyson of the Boudreaux Group in Columbia, SC; and Jimmy Walters and Dena Jacob of the SC Forestry Commission.

The CDS Team will produce diagrams, plans, renderings, photo-manipulations, branding and marketing collaterals to illustrate their recommendations. All of these products and recommendations are presented to the community on the final evening of the charrette. A follow-up report along with all electronic files is provided to the community as a toolkit to guide implementation on the recommendations of the charrette.

The public is encouraged to attend a kick-off Town Hall Meeting and Final Presentation of the charrette. The Town Hall Meeting will be conducted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Lockhart, 112 Mill Street, Lockhart, SC. The Final Presentation will be conducted on Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Lockhart. For additional information, please contact Mayor Ailene Ashe at (864) 545-2103/ or by e-mail at lockhart118@hotmail.com.

From staff reports, The News & Reporter