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Steel site preservation group to meet

Students from the Democracy Workshop class who are working with a local grassroots organization to help preserve historic structures on the former Bethlehem Steel site will hold an informational meeting on the project at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Sinclair Auditorium.

At the meeting, Lehigh alumnus Mike Cramer and his wife, Amy Senape, will discuss Save Our Steel’s efforts and offer ways in which interested members of the university community and the Lehigh Valley can help.

“We think the greatest value of this 160-acre site is in its context of its historic industrial use,” says Matt Salner, a student in the class taught by Ted Morgan, professor of political science. “Now that the major developer of the site has pulled out, we really have an opportunity to begin again with a fresher vision of what this site could mean. Part of that should involve preserving its historical value, and that’s what we’re hoping to accomplish.”

The event is the latest in a series of public workshops the Save Our Steel group has convened, Salner says.

“We consider it a priority to help create a broadly conceived plan that offers input from many voices,” he says. “There’s a great deal at stake here—the industrial legacy of Bethlehem Steel, economic development of the Lehigh Valley, and improved quality of life for the area’s residents.”

The Democracy Workshop at Lehigh is a class where students are placed with a local grassroots organization and work with the group to increase its presence in the community and achieve its goals. Students learn about organizing and participatory democracy in a once-a-week seminar.

For more information, contact Matt Salner at (610) 974-0389, or visit the group’s Web site.

--Linda Harbrecht

Posted on Monday, April 12, 2004

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