Collaborative Chronicles

Welcome to our first quarterly newsletter! Thank you so much for taking the time to read about what our students and faculty are doing with our community partners! You’ll find each issue to be filled with exciting updates with the projects in the communities that you know and love. You’ll also learn about opportunities to get involved! We want this newsletter to be valuable to you, so please share your feedback and suggestions to help us improve.

Connie's Corner
Learn About Our Inaugural Partner, Alton, IL
Engineering a More Effective and Efficient Alton
Supporting Small Businesses in Alton
Shout Out to Our New Partner.....Edwardsville, IL

Connie's Corner

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Learn About Our Inaugural Partner, Alton, IL

The City of Alton was founded in 1837 and is located on the Mississippi River in Madison County, Illinois about 25 miles north of St. Louis, Missouri. It is a part of the Metro-East region of the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area.

Home to about 28,000 residents, Alton is a great place to live, work and raise a family. Alton's 28,000 residents benefit from a cost of living below the national average and the protection of the Alton Police and Fire Departments. The Alton School District and several private and parochial schools provide a wonderful education to our children. Lewis and Clark Community College, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, and the many colleges and universities in St. Louis make higher education accessible to residents of Alton. Large employers include the Alton School District, Alton Memorial Hospital, Alton Steel, Inc., American Water Company, Argosy Casino, Global Brass and Copper, Inc., Millers First Insurance Company, Olin Corporation, Riverbend Head Start & Community Services, and Saint Anthony's Health Center. A variety of locally owned small businesses are also located in Alton.

Alton is also the hometown of Jazz musician, Miles Davis, and Robert Wadlow, the tallest known person in history.

Engineering a More Effective and Efficient Alton

As a city develops and grows there are parts of the infrastructure that must be revisited to determine if they are still the best they can be for the residents of that city.        
The city of Alton is no exception to this. A civil engineering class at SIUE has identified three areas in Alton that need to be addressed. The first is that the
ramps on State Street are not easily accessible. To be in accordance with the ADA, sidewalks and ramps must be accessible for all people. This team of
students worked with a survey group to identify the ramps that need to be restructured. They then designed new ramps and curbs that would meet state
and federal standards. Another project was that was identified was to address a particularly dangerous intersection. The team also worked with the survey
company to design a roundabout that would help reduce vehicle accidents as well as vehicle emissions from cars waiting to take their turn. Finally, the third
project was to develop a water retention basin to have a way to mitigate the storm water runoff that much of Alton experiences. By locating the proper funding
for these projects, and carrying them out, the City of Altonwill be able increase the quality of life for many of its residents. These projects will also help promote
a more sustainable way of living in Alton. They will do this byincreasing the safe accessibility to crosswalks and ramps that encourage non- motorized modes of
transportation. The second project will help to reduce the amount of time people spend at the intersection as well as reduce the risk of accidents, and the storm
water management project will help to keep erosion down.

Supporting Small Businesses in Alton

Alton, Illinois is seated in the heart of the United States on the Mississippi River. This modest city is rich with history, beautiful sights, as well as unique potential. Even though the population is on a slight decline there are still plenty of opportunities for economic growth. Small business entrepreneurs can utilize mentoring, training, and professional development resources that are available locally. Another way to stimulate economic development is through the use of incubators. Business incubators assist small business start-ups by providing crucial administrative support, they can also provide advice and guidance. By utilizing incubators, small business owners can get their organization off to a cost-efficient start. A few types of incubators that would benefit Alton are business, technology, kitchen, farm, and healthcare. Funding for these kinds of spaces are also available on several different levels. If the City of Alton, entrepreneurs, and locals are mindful of the demographics and the needs of the residents then small business start-ups and incubator spaces could help the city flourish. Another group of students worked to develop a survey to identify the barriers to  small business start ups in the city.  If you are from the Alton, Metro-East, or St. Louis area please take a few moments to take the survey

Shout Out to Our New Partner.....Edwardsville, IL

We're excited to also announce our partnership with the City of Edwardsville for the 2019-2020 academic year! This upcoming year, we will be working with Edwardsville on their plans of building a new sports complex with a teen center.  Our students will also be working with city officials in the development of a new multi-purpose parking structure downtown. And finally, we will be helping in the creation of an Earth Edwardsville commission that will unite like-minded groups who are interested in maintaining the historical and environmental value of the Edwardsville area