Danville, VA - An iconic part of Danville, a pedestrian bridge that runs from the White Mill to the new YMCA site, may be getting a fix-up from a group of interns.The interns have set up a survey online that they hope will give them a better vision of what people want to do with the bridge and surrounding area.Nearly everyone familiar with Danville recognizes the bridge. People can't use it right now, but it connects the White Mill to the new YMCA site."Right now the bridge actually almost butts up against the white mill, it's about 50 to 100 feet away and it just ends right over the water," said Amanda Schlichting, a DRF intern. It's the bridge that Schlichting and her fellow interns at Danville Regional Foundation have their sights on."We are just trying to think about what kinds of new structures or new activities people would like to see going on," said Schlichting. The project is called the Span the Dan Movement. The interns have been tasked to work with the community to discover what Danvillians would want to do with that bridge and the surrounding site."We are trying to get opinions on what kinds of things people would like to see going on there," said Schlichting. The eager group has discussed a range of options from a restaurant, to a store, to an aquarium, all ideas that would bring more people to the river. Danville Regional Foundation President Karl Stauber says turning ideas into reality is a strong possibility. First, though, the group needs their idea."We hope more and more people in the region will become interested in this and see this as a great way of kind of doing a bridge of the past to the future," said Karl Stauber, President of DRF. The group of interns will look at survey results then come up with a final design. No matter the idea, Schlichting says getting this experience is a real benefit for their education.
"This is real people and real life and it can't get any better than that," said Schlichting.They are hosting an open house next Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at their office on Bridge Street to tell people about their plans.You can find the survey here.