WVWRI’s NBAC to Highlight Collaborative Approach to Community Redevelopment Projects at Upcoming Conference

Written by Tamara Vandivort on . Posted in Events, News

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The West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Centers will host their 9th annual West Virginia Brownfields Conference on Sept. 11 and 12 at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington.

This year’s conference will highlight the Centers’ collaborative approach in helping communities throughout the state capture the maximum economic, environmental and social benefits from the remediation and adaptive re-use of brownfields.

Brownfields include all property that is hindered from redevelopment or reuse due to the presence or perceived presence of a hazardous substance or contaminant. The West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Centers were created in 2005 by the West Virginia Legislature to empower communities to plan and implement redevelopment projects.

“Successful projects do not happen without collaboration,” said Patrick Kirby, director of the Northern Brownfields Assistance Center at West Virginia University. “We have some of the best resources to advance redevelopment projects right here at WVU through a diverse and knowledgeable faculty and student base.”

Since its creation in 2006, the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center has collaborated with faculty at WVU and Marshall University to provide technical assistance to communities across the state. Since then, the Center has expanded this collaboration to work with professors from a variety of fields at other institutions across West Virginia.

This collaborative work with faculty experts will be highlighted at this year’s conference in a session titled, “Redevelopment University: Collaborating for Project Success.” This session will feature a panel of WVU professors who are actively working on community projects across the state. The session will be moderated by Rocco Fucillo, state, corporate and community relations specialist with WVU, and will feature panelists Tom Bias with the School of Public Health ; Charles Yuill with the Davis College Landscape Architecture Program ; Rita Colistra with the Reed College of Media ; and Steve Cutright with the College of Business and Economics.

“All of these professors are currently working on real community projects with their students,” said Carrie Staton, West Virginia Redevelopment Collaborative Coordinator at the Center. “What’s great about these collaborations is that not only are students receiving valuable learning experience, but the communities involved are directly benefiting from the high quality and timely efforts of students assisting in project tasks and objectives.”

Registration for the Conference ends on Sunday (Aug. 31).

For more information about the Brownfields Assistance Centers or to register for the 2014 West Virginia Brownfields Conference, visit www.wvbrownfields.org.