There is a major drive to rename the street that connects Kettering University to the University of Michigan-Flint. The two schools, along with the City of Flint, and Metro Housing Partnership, Inc. are working together on the formal re-naming of Third Avenue to “University Avenue.”The effort was officially kicked-off Saturday, February 16 at the Third Ave. Baptist Church. Mayor Donald Williamson and UM-Flint Interim Chancellor Jack Kay were among the dignitaries attending the event. University of Michigan-Flint and Kettering University students went door-to-door in the Third Avenue corridor, to get signatures of residents and property owners on a petition to re-name the thoroughfare. The two universities, anchoring each end of Third Avenue, jointly enroll nearly 9,000 students in the City of Flint. Overall, there are over 30,000 students enrolled in higher education in Flint. Although these numbers indicate that Flint is a college town, the city does not yet fully enjoy that image.
The partnership to re-name Third Avenue “University Avenue” will reinforce local economic development efforts and neighborhood revitalization. It will add to what has already been accomplished, including:
• The City of Flint recently completed the resurfacing of Third Avenue and included islands for green space.
• The Hurley Medical Center recently completed plans to improve their campus master plan and the surrounding neighborhoods.
• University of Michigan-Flint construction of a 310-bed student residence hall to open in August 2008.
• Kettering University is updating its campus master plan and anticipates increasing the density of resident student population close to or on its campus.
• The Genesee County Land Bank, in partnership with the City of Flint Local Support Initiative Corporation (LISC), plans to construct new single-family homes in the neighborhoods in the Third Avenue corridor.
• The City of Flint will receive federal funding through the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) in 2008 for decorative lighting, landscaping and bike racks as part of an overall goal to revitalize the neighborhood.
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