The University of Arkansas Community Design Center received two honors from the 2016 American Architecture Awards from The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and urban Studies.
The awards were won for two project designs, called "Texarkana Art Park" and the "Conway Urban Watershed Framework Plan: A Reconciliation Landscape."
These awards are the Community Design Center’s ninth and 10th projects to receive American Architecture Awards.
According to a news release, "the (Conway Urban Watershed) employs green infrastructure to deliver ecosystem services."
The project combines a sponge city gradient, a water treatment technologies spectrum, the 17 ecosystem services and six adaptive infrastructure types.
Conway City Planner Scott Grummer said it is a watershed plan that will help mitigate flooding.
"We want to offset the flooding downtown," he said. "It’s not going to completely solve the problem, but it will reduce the amount of flooding downtown."
Grummer said several entities collaborated in this project, including the city of Conway.
Project Manager Tanzil Shafique from the Community Design Center said the project was a three-year project, which was funded by a $498,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
"It was to help Lake Conway, which has heavy sedimentation," he said. "It is also part of the reason why downtown Conway floods. We wanted to see how the water issues could be solved through growth. Since Conway is growing, how can we fix that?"
Shafique and Grummer said some of the project is being used in Conway now.
"We’ve done a couple projects with (the University of Central Arkansas), and tried to do one at the Conway Expo Center, but it didn’t work out the way we hoped," Grummer said. "However, if you go the Villages at Hendrix, the strategies are being used there."
Grummer said the team is happy with the award.
"We were excited to receive [the award]," Grummer said. "It’s a great plan that is getting national recognition. All parties involved were very instrumental in helping get this project out."
The Lake Conway Point Remove Watershed Alliance is leading the push for this plan in Conway.
This group was created out of the project and Grummer serves as president.
It will have a public meeting at 6 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Conway Police Department, announcing a new framework design for Low Impact Development in Conway.
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