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Published: The News & Observer, October 30, 2004

Author: Susan Houston
Staff Writer

Edition: Final
Section: Editorial/Opinion
Page: Page: A22

Designs on Downtown

There's a lot of good news in downtown Raleigh these days, and to the mix add this big story: The N.C. State University College of Design is opening an urban design studio in downtown come February. Developer Greg Hatem is subsidizing rent on a building he owns on South Wilmington Street, the university is paying a share for the space, and Raleigh will be all the better.

Better still is the fact that these students, enrolled in one of the nation's top design schools, can offer their own ideas about how to spruce up downtown through imaginative designs or even through ideas that don't have anything to do with design, ideas that come upon them just from being in the area. There should be, as a result of the studio (the idea also was pushed by new Chancellor James Oblinger), an opportunity for students to be an active part of a living, working downtown all around the clock. As one NCSU official noted, students work at all hours; the studio could enhance efforts to make the downtown itself a sort of 'round-the-clock place.

What with Progress Energy proceeding with its mixed-use project, with the plan to reconfigure Fayetteville Street and with a new convention center in the works, the downtown is taking some big steps. That NCSU is participating in the revitalization is another long stride.

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