When Andy Fellows was sworn in as College Park mayor in 2009, he pledged to improve collaboration with the University of Maryland.
Newly elected Mayor Patrick Wojahn, who was inaugurated Monday, plans to continue working with this university to revitalize the city.
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City officials met with university President Wallace Loh last month “to set the tone of a collaborative relationship and transition leadership,” Wojahn said.
During the meeting, Wojahn and Loh discussed various opportunities to work together and build on their existing relationship to achieve mutual goals, Wojahn said. The university president and the mayor, along with city staff, typically have quarterly meetings to discuss issues that affect both parties.
“The goal was to see that there are ways we can work together over the next couple of years,” Wojahn said. “A big part of that conversation is that we focused on development of the city and ways that we can [partner] around quality of life issues.”
Both Loh and Wojahn prioritize revitalizing the city, and said they are seeing unprecedented growth in development.
“College Park is now seen by developers … as about to explode in terms of development,” Loh told The Diamondback in September. “By having [The Hotel at the University of Maryland] and other things, all of a sudden developers are saying there may be the demand.”
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The city and university are both working toward creating a higher standard of living, Wojahn said, as well as attracting faculty and staff to live in the area.
“It benefits everybody,” Wojahn said. “It benefits the university to have the faculty and staff living in the community, and it makes the city a more attractive place to live in general.”
College Park City Manager Scott Somers said the city and the university share many common goals and “mutual interests.”
“Things were reinforced [during the meeting] in terms of everyone’s commitment toward building solid and collaborative relationships, and that’s been the continuing thing,” Somers said. “What we can do together and collaboratively, where can we work together.”