New Report: How to redevelop a college campus in a way that boosts the surrounding community’s revitalization efforts

On August 27, 2020, the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) published their “Stillman College Roadmap to Redevelopment Report“, which contains insights of value to cities wishing to integrate campus redevelopment into their overall revitalization initiative.

Currently on the edge of major development sites in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Stillman College, a liberal arts institution, is a staple in
the Tuscaloosa community. Originally named the Tuscaloosa Institute and authorized by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in 1875, Stillman College has been developing and expanding ever since.

With a campus that extends over 105 acres, Stillman College has the potential to build on its legacy and incorporate the Tuscaloosa community on their campus more than ever before.

During CDFA’s visit to Stillman College, the Project Response Team learned of its innovative plans to redevelop the King and Williams dormitories. These plans are the culmination of years of research, outreach, and desire from the college staff and community members. Through that process, it was determined that the best solution is to redevelop the site into an athletic facility.

The CDFA site visit provided expertise that does not exist in mid-size cities like Tuscaloosa. We facilitated stakeholder meetings with key leaders: Mayor, Councilors, Chamber of Commerce, and Community Organizations, that provided candid information Stillman would not have been able to capture. This report serves as a blueprint for developing a strategy to address our brownfields for the benefit of the College and the Community,” said Dr. Cynthia Warrick, the President of Stillman College.

In 2019, select communities received on-site technical assistance from a team of finance and technical experts accompanied by select CDFA staff. These visits offered specific, actionable advice that could help transform brownfields into economic assets.

Toby Rittner, President & CEO of CDFA, remarked, “We are very pleased to present these recommendations for Stillman College. This redevelopment initiative provides an opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the community and Stillman College by solving both of their needs. We believe this project has the potential to transform Western Tuscaloosa through the innovative design that Stillman College has envisioned.

The CDFA Brownfields Technical Assistance Program is funded by a grant from the U.S. EPA to assist communities throughout the country looking to finance the redevelopment of brownfield sites.

Image courtesy of Stillman College.

View the full Stillman College Roadmap to Redevelopment Report (PDF).

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