Coeur d’Alene’s partnerships, which have created and continue to sustain the Education Corridor project, were honored with a City Achievement Award at the 2012 Association of Idaho Cities (AIC) Annual Conference in Boise.
In 2002, Coeur d’Alene leaders believed that the area’s evolving population would need living wage jobs that would be best supported by a strong educational infrastructure. This belief was shared by leaders of local higher education institutions. In May 2002, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the City of Coeur d’Alene (CdA), North Idaho College (NIC), the University of Idaho (U of I), and the Lake City Development Corporation (LCDC) to develop a master plan for an education corridor along the Spokane River. Lewis-Clark State College later joined this planning effort. After years of collaborative work, a Master Plan was created with this collective vision:
“To establish a multi-institution campus that is built on strong partnerships and provides high quality academic opportunities, joint student services, and shared facilities and management responsibilities for the residents of Northern Idaho by capitalizing upon pooled demand and opportunities for synergy and efficiency. Future development will improve multi-modal access, circulation, and parking for the Coeur d’Alene Education Corridor, adjacent neighborhoods, and the waterfront.”
On Wednesday, June 27, 2012, at 3:00 p.m., a ribbon cutting ceremony for Phase 1-B of the Education Corridor Project will take place at the intersection of Military Drive and River Avenue. The completion of this phase includes the extension of River Avenue through to Northwest Boulevard and will include a new signal at that intersection.
There has been over a decade of cooperation and collaboration between the original partners (CdA, U of I, NIC, and LCDC). Another partner, The Mayors’ Institute on City Design (MICD), awarded CdA a grant to further study the project through the MICD Alumni Technical Assistance Program in 2009. After listening to a broad spectrum of community members and stakeholders, urban planning experts with the MICD unveiled a comprehensive design of the education corridor, linking it with CdA’s downtown (http://lcdc.org/ePage/MICD/MICD.html).
During the 2009 Mayors’ Institute on City Design, collaborators included representatives from the Museum of North Idaho, Fort Ground Homeowners Association, Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Governor’s Office, CdA Downtown Association, Jobs Plus, Inc., Kootenai Health, the Idaho State Legislature, and the Idaho State Board of Education.
The AIC City Achievement Award Program selects winners for its competition based on whether the nominated program improves quality of life, if it reduces the costs of resources, or solves a community problem. For more information, please call 769-2204.