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Beauty in Belmont by, Delleny Molisani

VIDEO: Incredible Wellsville concept project by Alfred State students gaining popularity after $4.5 million award


Alfred State chair of Architecture and Design explains the video and project


Back in early December, a group of Alfred State architecture students attended a Wellsville Village Board meeting to make a presentation.

It’s not the first time. Talented students showed their vision for the village in 2016, Other architecture groups have done the same.

But this time, instead of a few poster board, the students put together a video with incredible computerized details of their vision. The video takes you on a walk, drive and bike ride through the village.

As you look at the current buildings and signs, you then see their ideas and realize “that could happen here.”

Why didn’t the presentation create the spark and excitement in the community that is happening today?

There are about $4.5 million reasons.

Wellsville was awarded a historic NY Forward grant for $4.5 million, and it’s the first award with $100 million to be given out by the state.

The video had under 50 views. This week, it was posted on the Wellsville Sun Facebook page and now has over 2,600 views:

About 50 students worked on the project called, “A Modern Connection to the Historic Village” at the David A. Howe Library in Wellsville. More than 45 students were involved in developing plans for Downtown Wellsville.

William C. Dean is a Professor of Architecture and Chair of the Department of Architecture and Design at Alfred State.

Dean said the video was a team effort in Professor Matt DiRado’s studio section. The entire studio of 16 students modeled that section of the village. The leads were JoAnna Musacchio (Canastota), John Snyder III (Hamburg), and Connor T. Weihoneig (Rochester) who helped render the individual video clips, and Colin W. Thompson (Webster) compiled all the clips into the video, added music, callouts and posted it to YouTube.

To work on the Wellsville project, 50 students were divided into three design studio sections under the direction of Bill Dean, DiRado, and Professor Alan Vlakancic.

“In working with communities over that past 20 years, this year’s project was definitely the most challenging in terms of the number of design studios and students involved,” Dean said. “The students in each studio did a tremendous job in organizing themselves and communicating between studios to complete the Community Visualization Study of Wellsville, and produced some exceptional work based on information provided by the village, town, and county.”

Students present the project to the Wellsville Village Board in December. Alfred State College photo.

As Wellsville officials consider the plans, the excitement Wellsville has shown should help the students in the future.

“My hope is that these students will carry the spirit of activism with them after graduation and, as citizens, architects and urban designers, seek to achieve positive change for communities wherever their futures may take them,” Dean added.

If you don’t live in Wellsville and want to see what the students think of your community, check with your municipality. Alfred State Architecture and Design students presented designs to Andover, Bolivar, Belmont, Fillmore and Caneadea over the past three years.

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