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Springfield, SCAD to push forward on work to secure historic district
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The future of a Springfield historic district may be getting a push forward, after city council members approved a contract with Savannah College of Art and Design students and professors.

Under the contract, for $2,500 over the next two academic quarters, SCAD students and professors will continue their work in Springfield and assist with developing a local preservation ordinance.

“This is the next step in the process,” said City Manager Brett Bennett.

The ordinance is needed to support the documentation for a historic district designation. SCAD professors and students are continuing to take photos and create 3-D models of homes and buildings of historic value. The 3-D models will be placed on Google Earth, though Bennett said there was a concern the photos wouldn’t be accepted.

“Google is (particular) about what’s portrayed on Google Earth,” he said.

SCAD students and professors have been taking photos and documenting potentially historic structures, and there about 20 Springfield homes on Google Earth now, Bennett said, with another 40 that should be on there soon.

The photos, data and 3-D models will be delivered to the city, and the information on historical resources will be shared with the state in order to make the determination on a historical district.

“This is a very, very reasonable price for professional help,” Bennett said.

“And they do a good job,” added council member Troy Allen.

The project also will be a boon for the SCAD students, Bennett said.

“This is really going to be a learning experience for the students. They’ll get to see how the government side works,” he added. “I think it will be beneficial to us and give us a good product in the end.”

“I think it’s going to bring positive feedback for the city and for SCAD,” council member Kenny Usher said. “It’s a good opportunity for them.”

Students and professors from SCAD will be involved through public hearings and council meetings as a potential historic district is developed, according to Bennett.

Council members also approved a proposal of $2,000 from Kern-Coleman to develop a master plan. There will be three meetings as part of the process, including meetings with council members and with the public.

Any master plan also will go through the city’s planning and zoning board, Bennett pointed out.

“It’s in everybody’s best interest to do that because this is a land use,” he said.

A second workshop with council members will be held to implement ideas from a public meeting, Bennett added. The city also will identify which projects it wants to do and which ones it wants to do first.

“We will specify projects, prioritize projects and decide how to go from there,” he said.