Topeka transforms after Google project

Editorial Board

A year has passed since the initial announcement of Google fiber wire and their search for a community to place their experimental technologies.

The momentum that has gathered as a result of the pursuit of something which, by many in the community has been deemed important, has been an almost transformational experience. Many of the residents of Topeka had been waiting for something to act as a catalyst in a town that some perceived as down on its luck.

Where the momentum really started was back in March when Mayor Bill Bunten proclaimed Topeka to be, “Google, Kan., the capital city of fiber optics” for the entire month. This act in itself was a great gesture that helped bring Topeka into the national spotlight in a positive way.

The following publicity and continued efforts by community activists like Alissa Sheley and her band of Think Big Topeka folks has breathed new life into the city. This new renaissance of Topeka culture under an emerging generation of young professionals, who are graduating from schools like Washburn, should give everyone living in the city a new amount of pride. Projects that seemed to be out of reach like bringing a new Amtrak line to Topeka and developing downtown into the heart of a city that everyone in the state can be proud of are now within the reach of anyone that wants to get involved.

With all of these efforts that are taking place in Topeka, the message to Washburn students has become clear. Now is the time to engage with the community. No matter what your interest is, be it fostering arts through assisting with development of the NOTO arts district or helping to breathe life into a downtown district via involvement with Capital District Project, a call to action is being issued for those that want to live in a community that you want to be proud of.

In turn, the editorial board of the Washburn Review hopes that this moment isn’t lost on our fellow students as the time to help build a better community is now and the only thing holding you back from making Topeka all it can be is yourself.  By getting involved in organizations like Think Big Topeka or Top City Live, the fledgling organization built to cater to the interests of Washburn students, members of the community are voting for a better community. Getting involved in an effort to make Topeka a great place to get an education in all aspects of life is as worthy a goal as one can imagine. As a wise man once said, “the only thing that can stop the determination to better oneself is the lack of resolve to see the reward.”