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University of Oklahoma students prepare Bethany Route 66 project



University of Oklahoma Division of Landscape Architecture graduate students and Oklahoma Scenic Byways are partnering to give the city of Bethany new ideas on improving the section of town Route 66 runs through.

The students divided Bethany into three areas:
" retail,
" parks and recreation, and
" residential.

The students then studied the areas and are making suggestions as to what changes could be made. At semester's end, the class will present their suggestions to the city, which may or may not implement them.

"When we look at it from the students' perspective "¦ it takes it out of the textbook and puts it in the real world for them," said Pam Lewis, contract manager of Oklahoma Scenic Byways. "For Bethany, it's an opportunity for them to hear different ideas. We get that fresh set of eyes for Bethany."

Student Jeff Hewett said having a real client is beneficial to his learning experience.

"It's a good real-world example," he said. "But it's also theoretical. We weren't given a budget. We weren't constrained. If the best design is razing all the buildings and replacing them, then fine."

Tom Hoskison, director of business development for the city of Bethany, said the program allows Bethany to have a more in-depth evaluation.

"The benefit (for) the city is we couldn't afford to have it done," Hoskison said. "We get to have these bright minds along with their professor work along with their possibilities." "Krista Nightengale

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