For three classes at Oak Ridge High School, the future of the old Oak Ridge Mall property is something the students are taking personally. Nearly 60 students in the Digital Arts and Design and Virtual Enterprise classes have been working on a branding strategy for the once-thriving retail site, and their top ideas will be presented to Crosland Southeast, the Charlotte-based firm that has been working with the City of Oak Ridge to develop a plan to establish a multi-use work-live-play-shop destination.
“It has been an exciting project to work on, because there have been several attempts to revitalize this property, and all have failed due to, among other things, the lack of focus on the specific interest of Oak Ridge residents,” said Buddy McWilliams, an ORHS senior who is working on the project. “Crosland Southeast has shown that they want to be successful by looking at the interest of students and others who will be using the property.”
Crosland Southeast approached Oak Ridge School Board Chairman Keys Fillauer with the idea to work with the students, and an enthusiastic Fillauer discussed it with ORHS Principal David Bryant and teachers Linda Ousley and Clint Lafollette, and the project was off and running.
Ousley is the facilitator of the school’s Virtual Enterprise program. Ousley said that Crosland Southeast will get a good cross-section of Oak Ridge opinion by talking with the students, and the students are getting excellent experience they can use on their future resumes. [Read more…]