Utilizing Innovative Technology Tools to Advance the Town of Rising Sun

March 27, 2024 | Innovator

As a vibrant and growing community, the Town of Rising Sun has been committed to maintaining small-town roots while also striving to improve and expand the offerings available to residents and visitors.

With ambitious goals to transform the area, the Town tasked KCI with creating a visionary master plan that documents the redevelopment potential throughout the town.

To initiate the process, our team performed site visits and informal interviews to gain a perspective on common goals for creating positive change while increasing the quality of life for the community. After meeting with local merchants at a café that served as a prototype to begin the town’s redevelopment initiative, our team was able to establish a valuable course of action, one with creative freedom and no substantial restrictions. Using the background information gained from these discussions, KCI began creating 3D models of the town’s existing conditions and the transformation opportunities for a thriving, open market atmosphere.

“This project was not just about Main Street development; it was about creating positive change and enhancing the quality of life for the local community of Rising Sun.”

Calvin Bonenberger, Town Administrator

Our planning team’s first deliverable provided a vision for the downtown’s core through a series of building and streetscape renovations, assessing the benefits of single-story and multi-story structure design options. Satisfied with the initial effort, the Town tasked KCI with a broadened scope that expanded to additional areas, eventually leading to plans for improved streetscapes and redevelopment opportunities for nearly every part of town.

Our team presented numerous depictions of real case scenarios to provide a perspective of the town’s abilities and potential restrictions along Main Street and in the downtown area.

As the project continued to fruition, the innovative developments progressed to include street furnishings, lighting/pole banners, sidewalk café spaces, courtyards/special paving areas, gathering places, public art/wall murals, and green/sustainable parking lot improvements. Due to existing, underutilized spaces, KCI proposed the conversion of a building into a new community center, along with additional building consolidations and renovations to introduce an open market atmosphere, one with European flair. In addition, our planners worked closely with the town administrator to address his vision for a destination Little League baseball regional tournament venue and history museum. With this concept, KCI suggested a new hotel site with multipurpose trails connecting the baseball complex to the hotel and downtown core.

These proposed opportunities and solutions positioned the town to receive local and state support for the long-term sustainability of the town. The preservation of natural and cultural heritage, energy and resource efficiency, minimized impacts to natural features, and a compact mixed-use community framework served to increase the town’s environmental conservation.

Renderings included little league playing fields, a museum, multiple pedestrian paths, and a parking area to amplify the local offerings with physical activities and accessibility.

“This exciting venture allowed our team to rise to the challenge and provide the Town with innovative solutions to explore its capabilities and advance its offerings in a sustainable and progressive way.”

Rick Hoehn, Practice Leader

In order to capture the culture of the town, KCI prepared renderings of seasonal celebrations and neighborhood events. Utilizing Lumion 3D software and 360-degree flyover video technology, our team was able to create four animated videos to depict the proposed improvements in addition to rendering a highlight of the parades, vendors, band performances, beer gardens and food trucks at the Town’s annual Sunfest event, a summer festival that attracts thousands of visitors.

The animated videos also served as a resource going forward to not only express what the town wants to do with its community, but also as a tool to promote and secure funding and partnerships with both public and private sectors. Working collaboratively with KCI’s Delaware civil staff; quantity takeoffs and cost estimates were prepared to provide the town with the realm of cost improvements that were being considered for the purpose of filing for state grant funding support.

With numerous community events in the Town of Rising Sun, it was significant for KCI to prepare renderings of reoccurring parades, seasonal celebrations, and pedestrian-scaled neighborhood events.

Once project deliverables were prepared, they received praise from former Governor Larry Hogan and were then presented to Governor Wes Moore during a walking tour of the town. With support from state administrators and local community members, the Town is positioned to move forward with additional plans and phases to bring the new, sustainable vision to materialization.

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