USA Engineering Students Design Public Park for City of Mobile

Posted on May 1, 2024
Lance Crawford

USA engineering students present their senior design project to City of Mobile officials. data-lightbox='featured'
University of South Alabama engineering students presented their design of a proposed waterfront park to Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson and other city officials. Pictured from left, back row, Kim Carmody, director of Mobile parks and recreation department; Tammy Olivero, engineering manager; Laura Angle, grants compliance manager; Nick Amberger, city engineer; Shonnda Smith, interim executive director of public works; Wendell Mears, senior marine engineering with Anchor QEA; T.J. Kervin, student and project manager; Dr. Bret Webb, professor of civil, marine and environmental engineering. Front row, Sean Blackmon, student; Kenneth Moore, student; Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson; Cole Kimrey, student, Katie Pruden, student.

When Dr. Bret Webb, a professor in the University of South Alabama’s department of civil, coastal and environmental engineering, heard that the City of Mobile needed a new public park and boat launch on property along Halls Mill Creek, he knew it would make a perfect senior design project.

Eventually, that project was assigned to civil engineering student Timothy Kervin’s team. Serving as project manager, he realized this was a unique opportunity.

“We were excited to not only work with an actual client, but to also sit down with the city officials,” Kervin said. “It was nice to be able to simulate what a real-world project would be like in the sense of sitting down with the client to discuss exactly what they wanted and needed done.”  

Kervin’s team, which included Sean Blackmon, Cole Kimrey, Kenneth Moore and Katie Pruden, were given a 5.6-acre, nearly blank canvas. Their design features a boat ramp, kayak launch, gazebo, pavilion, nature trail, parking lot and restrooms. 

“Originally, we were given a scope of work with our project that was not very detailed,” Pruden said. “We created as much of a design outline as we could with what we initially had. The city then provided us with details of what they were looking for, allowing us to choose between different alternatives we compiled for the final design.” 

The team was able to fine-tune its plan based on cost, feasibility, constructability and, ultimately, what the city wanted. When it was completed, they presented it to the city, including Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson.

“It was honestly one of the coolest opportunities to be able to not only sit down with the city to discuss design, but to also present our final design to the mayor,” said Pruden.

The students’ plans will be turned over to a licensed engineering firm to complete the work on their preliminary design. It could take a year or longer before the park is built, but the collaborative effort will have long-lasting benefits.

“Our staff really enjoyed working with Dr. Webb and the Jaguar engineering team,” Stimpson said. “This partnership gave these students an opportunity to gain hands-on experience with a major civil engineering project while helping us develop the conceptual design for this exciting community asset.”

The students’ Cypress Shores final design plan is available to view.

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