MWSU students want to keep downtown thriving

Madison Dillon, and Kristen Hagen team up with hopes to set downtown on a thriving path.

Posted: Oct 22, 2018 1:21 AM

ST. JOSEPH, Mo) Two Missouri Western students took on the challenge of improving downtown St. Joseph. 

"There a lot happening right now in downtown, there’s a lot of motivation and people are really like, pushing for it." Madison Dillon, a business student at Missouri Western.

Dillon along with Kristen Hagen are lifelong residents of the area, they describe downtown as an area that’s bustling with opportunity, and possibility.

"Downtown is supposed to kinda be the heart of your community," Dillon said. "If downtown St. Joe is thriving and successful, and people are coming to it, I think that’s only going to have a positive impact on St. Joe as a whole."

It’s that belief that inspired the duo to take on an in-depth research project of downtown, as students in the Craig School of Business at missouri western, the internship was extensive.

"At the beginning of our internship we physically surveyed all of downtown," Hagen said. "We actually walked from block to block with our clipboards which was kind of fun."

Their mission was to gain first hand knowledge of what is actually going on downtown, their project was an in-depth analysis of what’s in the area. They told us some what they found surprised them,

"We’ve both lived here our entire lives, and when we were surveying downtown we would look at each other  like, 'oh I didn’t know that was there.' " Hagen said. "There were a lot more restaurants down there than I thought or anticipated, which was cool,"

"The stuff down there is so unique," Dillon said. "Its stuff that you’re not gonna find anywhere else in St. Joe."

Even with all the positives, the project also included recommendations for the city to consider.

"One of our recommendations was to increase visual appeal," Hagen said.

suggesting improvements like lighting and attracting a younger demographic to the area, the city has taken notice.

"Since our final presentation at the end of summer some of our recommendations have already been put into play," Hagen said.

Next time you visit downtown, and see some of the changes taking shape, just know its thanks in part to the work of MWSU students.

"I’m just excited for the future of downtown," Dillon said. "Hopefully the ball keeps rolling in that direction and everyone’s working towards that end goal,"

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