Reporting Christie Ileto
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Building up their block of Baltimore. That’s part of a plan just unveiled by Morgan State University to improve neighborhoods within a mile of the school’s campus.
As Christie Ileto explains, safety and better campus-neighborhood relations are at the center of it all.
Students call it the heart of Northeast Baltimore.
“The school is basically the center of this community,” said Amber Hooper.
And Friday, Morgan State University and MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital are pledging to work with area neighborhoods in a one mile radius of the school to improve their block of Baltimore.
“This is about a long-term engagement on the part of Northeast Baltimore and Morgan to bring about sustained change in the area,” said Dr. David Wilson, president of Morgan State.
Plans for the Morgan Community Mile include improving safety, economic development and the environment to strengthening the university’s relationship with the community.
“All I want to do is come into the neighborhood and park,” a neighbor said.
A year ago, frustrations boiled over between Morgan and residents over parking. Students now say it’s about being a better neighbor.
“I think it’s a really good idea because people in the community want to be more a part of the school,” said Hooper, student.
The university says some of the projects for the Morgan Community Mile include getting rid of red tagged homes, bringing more retailers to the area and having more community gardens in nearby neighborhoods.
Right now, Morgan is building a business school near Northwood Shopping Center, which has seen few improvements since a former city councilman was shot there in 2008.
“I think it’s going to be a very good help,” said Dawa Sherpa, a manager of a store in the strip mall.
Area merchants are hoping this will help business.
“When there’s a lot of traffic coming we’re definitely going to get a lot of business,” said Sherpa
And residents and the university are hoping to see their block of Baltimore evolve for the better.
The university says its partnership with MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital isn’t limited to a specific area, even though it’s called the Morgan Community Mile initiative.