As a part of the Aggieville Community Vision initiative, construction continues on North Manhattan Avenue south of Moro Street. With completion targeted for the end of 2022, the street will be redesigned to include a two-way, separated cycle track, wider sidewalks, increased landscaping, and pedestrian amenities, like benches, lighting and enhanced crossings, according to The City of Manhattan website.
“Most everybody agrees that it is time,” Dennis Cook, executive director of the Aggieville Business Association, said. “Everybody really supports it, but they know that there are a lot of orange barrels and constant drive-arounds. The students at this point still love coming down and they are supporting it. Even through construction and through COVID, we are doing great.”
Cook said the construction’s purpose is to create a more advanced Aggieville.
“We’ve got to attract more people to come into town,” Cook said. “That is why you are seeing all sorts of development north of the K-State football stadium—that is to bring in new businesses, new employees, and a new population into Manhattan. Another extremely high priority is having a vibrant and well received entertainment district.”
Claire Wohler, freshman in business and pre-law, said she has mixed emotions about the construction.
“It is irritating considering it will be under construction for the entirety of college, but I know that the end goal will make it better in comparison to other college towns’ versions of Aggieville,” Wohler said.
Cook said he advises the public to be understanding, even with the delays and constant construction.
“I know it is a [lengthy process], and it is a bit painful for everybody,” Cook said. “But you cannot magically do it. You must do the work. It’s going to take a little bit of time but it’s going to be so much better when this gets done.”
Cook said supply chain complications created long-lasting issues for the project.
“The biggest impact on construction was supply problems, and it is still a problem,” Cook said. “You could get a series of windows or whatever in a reasonable amount of time, now it takes six months in advance if you do not order the right stuff to come in.”
Kellie Jackson, managing director of the K-State sales program, said she is excited to see the renovation’s end result.
“I’m super excited for what it’s going to bring to Aggieville,” Jackson said. “It is difficult to navigate down there at times, but I think the future vision is going to be very nice for the students, the faculty and staff in town, as well as the community as a whole.”