January 12, 2017 11:00AM
Leaders from the City of Pittsburg and Pittsburg State University met on campus Wednesday to discuss the many ways in which the two entities are working together to improve their community.
Projects discussed during the bi-annual meeting included expanded housing, economic development, utility improvements and the creation of a joint master facility plan.
“This relationship is the envy of communities across this country,” said Pittsburg State University President Steve Scott. “This partnership is strong but it is also fragile. We need to take care of it and nurture it. We must listen to our community’s concerns and be responsive.”
The university’s Block 22 project, which will renovate four downtown buildings into space for student housing, retail and business development, was of particular interest to the group.
Shawn Naccarato, director of PSU’s Center for Innovation and Business Development, said the project is on track to open in the summer of 2018.
“It’s one of the most complicated projects we’ve ever worked on,” said Naccarato. “But it’s also one of the most exciting because of what it will mean for our university and for our downtown business district. Our goal is to sign the contract by the end of the month and begin construction in February.”
The 90-minute meeting also included updates on the city’s Mid-City Renaissance project, which aims to redevelop 386-acres in and surrounding the Mission Clay site, and the efforts of the Joint City University Advisory Board.
Pittsburg city manager Daron Hall reflected upon the amount work underway by asking everyone to keep the end goal in mind.
“Growing is hard,” Hall said. “It takes a lot of planning and effort but the end results are worth the efforts. We want to create a community that will allow every individual within this city the opportunity to have more and to improve the well-being of their families.”