Friday July 20, 2007

Citirama 2007

Citirama 2007, slated Aug. 2-5, will showcase new and renovated homes in the south student neighborhood. Of course, all include front porches. Tickets are free.

A hundred workers are putting the finishing touches on five gleaming new townhouses and four renovated homes in the University of Dayton's south student neighborhood in preparation for Citirama 2007. The free home show runs Aug. 2-5.

Most home shows feature upscale housing with all the amenities -- but Citirama 2007 is different. That's because the University of Dayton's south student neighborhood is not a traditional urban neighborhood. With its distinctive renovated single-family homes and signature front porches, it offers all the ambiance of a small town.

"Here, students meet on their front porches. It's not unusual for a cornhole tournament to break out in the front yard. Students have front-porch living and a strong sense of community. It's an atmosphere like none other in the country," said Kevin Hess, vice president of Greater Dayton Building and Remodeling, contractor for the $2.5 million project.

The homes on Stonemill Road and Frericks Way will house 55 students this fall, but for four days this summer they will open their doors to the public, prospective college students and their families, campus housing officials, alumni, faculty, staff, students, contractors — and the curious. How do today's college students live? Some say like royalty: one of the renovated homes is the "Castle," dubbed because of its rugged stone exterior and trademark turret.

As part of Citirama 2007, Milano's, Cold Stone Creamery and Moe's Southwest Grill will set up sidewalk stands and sell popular dishes at "The Taste of Brown Street." Neighborhood and community groups will offer exhibits in the registration tent. In addition, visitors can take a walking tour and view some of UD's newest facilities, including ArtStreet, Marianist Hall, RecPlex and the soon-to-open University Place. UD's new Heritage Center, which showcases UD's rich history, also will open its doors.

Citirama 2007 runs from 4 to 8 p.m. Aug. 2-3 and noon to 8 p.m. Aug. 4-5. It's free, but tickets are required. Tickets are available at National City bank branches; University of Dayton (Welcome Center at the main entrance, Kennedy Union information desk and Alumni House, 208 L St.); Dayton Daily News, 1611 S. Main St.; Home Builders Association of Dayton, 2003 Springboro West; and Frank Z Chevrolet, 1620 Brown St. Tickets also can be obtained at the gate. Parking is available in P Lot just west of Brown Street on Caldwell Street or in the Frank Z Chevrolet parking lot on Brown Street.

Citirama 2007 signals the University of Dayton's commitment to maintaining the front-porch character of its student neighborhoods, home to a number of Marianist brothers and priests who teach and work on campus. They believe that living, praying and supporting one another in community enrich their faith -- a philosophy they share with students.

"University of Dayton graduates talk about their house, their porch and community. This project continues that legacy," said Daniel J. Curran, University of Dayton president.

Citirama 2007 is historic. It's the first time a Home Builders Association has partnered with a university to showcase the latest in student housing, according to Walt Hibner, executive director of the Home Builders Association of Dayton.

"This type of showcase demonstrates the ability of our members to build more than traditional market housing," he said. "The floor plans provide efficient live/study environments with many conveniences of 'home.' The important front porches allow much-desired interactions with the neighborhood."

The Citirama homes include front porches, energy-efficient windows, doors and insulation; durable and low-maintenance interior and exterior finishes; and state-of-the-art mechanical, safety and communication systems, including high-speed, wireless Internet connections. The architectural features blend with other homes in the neighborhood.

UD, one of the most residential universities in the country, owns 328 properties, including houses and duplexes, in four student neighborhoods (south, north, Holy Angels and Wyoming). About 90 percent of undergraduates live on campus in housing ranging from traditional residence halls and apartments to ArtStreet lofts and single-family homes with porches. In the past five years, UD has invested more than $80 million in student residential facilities and amenities.

Citirama 2007 is presented by the University of Dayton and the Home Builders Association of Dayton, with support from the Dayton Daily News, WDTN-TV, National City Bank and Frank Z Chevrolet. For more information, call 937-229-2902 or 937-298-2900.

Contact Walt Hibner at 937-298-2900 or Richard Perales, University campus planning director, at 937-229-4339.