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CEDAR RAPIDS - Two months ago, they voiced their concerns. Saturday, they discussed solutions.
Neglected housing and safety, those are two big things on the minds of Mound View residents. Coe College is another.
The residents themselves can control the first two, but not the college's expansion plans.
That's why representatives from JLG Architects are in town, to figure how the neighborhood and the college can work together.
Coe College actually hired the planning firm to create a revitalization plan. The college has been buying up property in this neighborhood for expansion purposes. Kristina Mattison-Bohr, the Co-V.P. of the Mound View Neighborhood Association, says, "There's plenty of folks who don't want that to happen. They don't want to give up their homes. But there are a lot of people who are appreciative that Coe has stepped in and taken down homes where landlords weren't taking care of it."
The planning firm suggests encouraging integration between students and residents but defining physical borders. Architect Jim Galloway says, "There needs to be a stronger edge for Coe College of where their boundaries are so people feel secure buying a house across the street and knowing it's going to be around a while."
That boundary would exist along 15th St. between A Ave. and E Ave., possibly in the form of a park of some kind of green space.
Going back to some of the other issues, like safety and housing, that's up to the residents to change. Mattison-Bohr says, "There are so many great ideas that Coe can't do and the city can't do but the neighborhood can do."
JLG Architects is expected to release its final report in just a few weeks, sometime around May 1st.