SYRACUSE, N.Y. – In the heart of the Southeast Gateway of Syracuse, something special is happening. There are different faces, from different parts of the community, coming together for the same purpose: to learn more about the Southeast community and its needs.
For the past month, CenterState CEO has hosted special bus tours to fulfill that purpose. People from across Central New York embark on a journey through the Southeast Gateway, led by tour organizers, Dr. Juhanna Rogers and Calvin Corriders of CenterState CEO. Their mission: embrace the past, witness the resurgence of the present and celebrate the endless possibilities of the future.
“There’s a lot of investment happening in this neighborhood so we really wanted to engage residents, stakeholders and community members to raise awareness of the investments that are happening,” Corriders said.
During the tour, people get a chance to see economic growth first-hand. They depart from the Dunbar Center and their first stop is the bronze casting of legendary folk singer, Libba Cotten at Libba Cotten Grove on South State Street.
Cotten has deep ties to Syracuse. She lived and eventually died in the city. National recording artists have since visited Syracuse, to pay homage to her musical talents.
After Libba Cotten Grove, the next stop of the tour is Freedom Commons on Burt Street. It is just steps away from Interstate 81.
“It focuses on re-entry population and it offers social services for people to help them re-intergrate back into the world,” Corriders said.
About five minutes away is the next stop, STEAM at Dr. King Elementary School, where learning has become more interactive and project-based, incorporating more art, science and math.
“When it comes to improving the quality of life for our students, it is about improving the quality of life around them,” Dr. Rogers said.
That quality of life includes billions of dollars in investments, transforming Central Tech into a STEAM school, the Salina First initiative, Salt City Market and Blueprint 15, a purpose built community, which will re-imagine the area in and around Pioneer Homes.
Even though the tour has ended, the knowledge is only beginning about the past, present and future of the Southeast Gateway.