LSU Students Make Moss Point Their Project

By Sylvia Hall - bio | email

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX)- It was a typical college classroom scene.  Students carrying backpacks, pencils and notepads, scribbled away as they listened to lectures.  But these LSU students were taking part in an uncoventional course.

Their classroom was hundreds of miles from campus, in the heart of Moss Point. Their teachers were Moss Point community members, and their subject was the riverfront.

They will spend their academic semester creating landscape architecture models for the area.

"They're always looking outside the box for new an interesting opportunities for us to do things like this," said student Garrett Newton. "We're really inspired by this site, and we're really looking forward to helping Moss Point."

32 third year landscape architecture students are spending the weekend in Moss Point, catching a small glimpse of their subject.  Using the vision Moss Point has already adopted for the riverfront, each student will create his or her own design.

"What we're really working in the community to do is not necessarily give them a finished design product," said Professor Bradley Cantrell. "But to spark the community's imagination and then hopefully allow them to engage in what the students accomplish and hopefully move on from there."

Professor Cantrell says this is a unique chance for the students to work with a real site, and interract with a real community.

"It's the engagement with the community that is very important to them, to understand the complexity and the community's concerns, and translate that into a livable or occupiable space," cantrell said.

Moss Point is giving them a lot to work with.

"I see a lot of potential here, I mean just the water front, that's the amazing part, so the sky's the limit," said student Jessica Roberts.

The project also benefits the city.

"In the end, hopefully those 32 ideas really allow the city to envision something that wouldn't have happened with just one look at one idea," said Cantrell.

The students have access to all of Moss Point's pre-existing plans for the area, from before and after Katrina.  They will be graded on their final models, which will be presented to the city.