YSU engineering students help renovate local stream

By Emily McCarthy

Last spring, the Little Squaw Creek Stream Renovation project was brought to Youngstown State University engineering students in the Civil and Construction Engineering Technology program. A second phase of the project has been announced to take place next spring, following a $200,000 grant.

Robert Korenic, associate professor and program coordinator for the CCET program, introduced the project to his hydraulic and land development class. The class completed some analysis work on the site with two of the partners they had for the project, Liberty Township and Davey Resource Group, who was the construction manager. 

“This summer, I was contacted again that there would be a second phase of the project and they wanted to know if I would be interested in actually writing part of the grant to potentially get the money for the project,” Korenic said. “I jumped  at the opportunity because the scope of work is kind of the same as the first phase of the project.”

Korenic said he will be heavily involved in analysis and design for the project. All of the grant money will go toward constructing the park, including surveying, earth work, design, tree removal, planting new trees and plants and reconfiguring the stream bed. He also said one of his goals at the university is to do research projects with the students that reflect what they are going to be doing when they go out and practice in their fields.

“These are the types of projects that you will be working on when you practice. These are the types of things that I do when I practice engineering,” he said. “More importantly than that, it is an opportunity to work with students on a research project that is relevant.”

He said the project is not only beneficial to YSU students, but the community he lives in as well. 

“The other thing that was really intriguing about this project is I am actually a stakeholder. My property abuts Liberty Park,” he said. “It’s very nice to finally see someone taking interest in that park, which is rather large, and for years it has gone kind of unkempt or uncared for. People would use it, but it needs to be brought up to speed in terms of modernization. In the first phase of the project — when we did the analysis with my class — I went down and took some photos of the old stream channel, and to see what it looks like now is really beautiful.”