Hastings College administrators stand behind their desire to have a portion of Ninth Street closed in the face of a new opposition group in town.
On Monday, a group of concerned citizens calling themselves the Keep 9th Street Open committee met and decided to launch a petition drive in hopes of keeping the street open.
The college has a large campus plan that includes an addition to the art department facilities, constructing a new residence hall and expanding the Hazelrigg Student Union in addition to closing a one-block portion of Ninth Street between Elm and Ash avenues to through traffic.
Already, students moving back onto campus this month will be greeted by $6 million in updates to several of the campus' residence halls.
"All of these are investments in the college and community as a whole," Hastings College President Don Jackson said in a news release from the college. "And I don't think I can emphasize enough the importance of the next step, of redeveloping one block of Ninth Street, to the overall plan. It will help the college continue to grow, and that has an important economic impact on the entire community."