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University Students Draw Up Plans for San Pedro. Montana State University Foreign Design Project

A New Year brings hopeful resolutions, new opportunities, and for Ambergris Caye, lots of rain. It has also brought a group of 12 students from Montana State University sponsored by the School of Architecture who come to work on their school projects and at the same time create beautiful plans and suggestions that our Town Council may use to beautify and/or improve conditions on the island.

This is the third time MSU has visited the island to help implement change in San Pedro. One of the central ideas that the students have drawn up this year combines a new football field and renovated docks to create a public market area for vendors as a possible solution to the problem of Angel Coral Street traffic congestion.

The goal is to move the current field approximately 130 feet west into the lagoon, keeping the field the same dimension as it is currently is imperative, as well as including new grass, proper drainage, and a watering system. The docks and road which lie to the west of the field would also be moved further into the lagoon.

An important part of the project is the steps of construction which allow each owner to have their new dock built before they would have to move. The extension of Angel Coral Street would allow better traffic circulation in the area. The new proposal would also open up new space to the east which would be used for market & vendor space, parking, restrooms, and a permanent garbage and plastic collection bin.

A project designed to improve Boca del Rio is also another one of the group’s main focus. After much community interaction and professional guidance, the students are developing a three phase plan which allows the park to remain a place of enjoyment and safe recreation long into the future.

The plans develop a community orientated space which is designed to make the park self-sustaining. Phase One (Renovation) includes reinforcement of the existing canal wall, construction of new children’s play equipment, and the addition of more shaded seating. During Phase Two (Preservation), the plans call for new permanent sea walls and groins which prevent beach erosion and provide a safe swimming area. Along with a three story viewing tower, Phase Three provides a business plan which allows for the park to generate enough income to fund maintenance.

The smaller projects the students are focusing on are: permanent garbage collection units combined with plastic collection and recycling, as well as donation receptacle for tourists to leave books and Belizean currency on the island for the San Pedro Public Library.

The Montana State University students are also inviting the general public to join them at the Town Hall on Friday at 3p.m. for a pubic forum on these Community Design Projects.

Montana State University Students enjoy island life while working on their projects.

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