The Southland Association was awarded a Lexington Fayette Urban County Government Corridors Commission grant this spring for the “design phase of a Southland Drive entrance gateway sign,” expecting implementation to come at a later date and under a different budget.
However, associate professor Ryan Hargrove, of the University of Kentucky’s Department of Landscape Architecture, saw the opportunity to use the project for his fall semester class.
The Southland Association was approved for a variance to the grant to include both design and implementation phases of the sign project.
The grant provided $5,000, with a $5,000 match coming from the Southland Association.
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The sign will be positioned at the corner of Southland Drive and Nicholasville Road, on property owned by Baptist Health.
For the design phase, each student in Hargrove’s class prepared a proposal for the entrance gateway sign. Southland Association board members, along with local government officials, Skip Alexander, Baptist Health’s director of construction, and Hargrove, reviewed the proposals and selected one for the installation.
The selected design, proposed by student Charlie Harris, highlights the music culture and eclectic mix of small businesses.
The city has approved the installation, and the UK students soon will begin working on the foundation in preparation for the sign to be completed by early December.
Hilary Baumann, Southland Association board president, noted that “this has been a whirlwind project, but with an outcome far better what we had originally anticipated when applying for the grant. I expect that the entrance gateway will become a lasting landmark for the district and a source of pride for the community for generations. ”