Monday July 30, 2007

Up on the Porch

It may be the most unusual home show in the country. Welcome to Citirama 2007, a showcase of the latest in student housing.

The beds aren't all made yet, but the welcome mat is out at the University of Dayton.

Citirama 2007 kicks off Aug. 2-5 at the corner of Stonemill Road and Frericks Way in UD's south student neighborhood. The $2.5 million project features five new townhouses, a renovated duplex and three other renovated homes in a neighborhood populated by hundreds of upperclass students. Students have dubbed one of the homes the "Castle" for its distinctive turret.

In the first partnership of its kind in the country, the Home Builders Association of Dayton and the University of Dayton will showcase the latest in student housing in the free home show.

Since college students bring their own sheets, UD officials made a last-minute scramble to find quilt covers, pillows and pillowcases to dress 55 twin beds for the event. It was not your typical shopping spree. Event organizers conducted Internet research and found the best deal in two states at the IKEA store in Canton, Mich. — a three-hour jaunt.

A crew of 100 construction workers spent the last few weeks putting the finishing touches on the houses, while UD's residential properties staff laid new sod and spruced up the neighborhood for visitors.

Media are invited to cover an invitation-only blessing, ribbon-cutting ceremony and preview party at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 1, corner of Frericks Way and Stonemill Road.

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 can be picked up at the event at the registration tent on Frericks Way just north of the intersection of Frericks Way and Stonemill Road -- or in advance at the University of Dayton, Home Builders Association of Dayton, National City Bank branches, Frank Z Chevrolet and the Dayton Daily News. Parking is available in all P lots just east of Brown Street on Caldwell Street and Frericks Way or in the Frank Z Chevrolet parking lot on Caldwell Street.

As part of Citirama 2007, Brown Street eateries -- Milano's, Cold Stone Creamery and Moe's Southwest Grill -- as well as UD's catering services will set up sidewalk stands on Stonemill Road 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 longer walking tour and view some of UD's newest facilities, including ArtStreet, Marianist Hall, RecPlex and the exterior of the soon-to-open University Place. UD's new Heritage Center, which showcases UD's rich history, also will open its doors.