FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Radford, VA – In a joint work session Monday, Jan. 30, leadership from the City of Radford and Radford University discussed areas of potential partnership and pathways for mutual success.
The meeting confirmed the formation of The Hub at Radford, an initiative shared by the city and the university. The Hub will serve as an economic development support system and help businesses thrive in Radford and across the New River Valley. It will also be the home of the Vinod Chachra IMPACT Lab which provides innovative, online, self-paced, competency-based education in high-demand workforce areas. The Hub at Radford will be located on East Main Street in the former Suntrust bank location, and planners project the first phase of the venture will open in mid-2023.
At the meeting, the City of Radford noted its focus on river enhancements and its work with the New River Valley Regional Commission and the New River Valley Watershed to establish the New River Water Trail. With federal support of $1.5 million, work on the Radford and Pulaski County joint area of the project should begin in 2023. The 61-mile trail project includes four additional boat launches, website upgrades and kiosk signs at boat landings. At Shelter No. 3 in Bisset Park, addition of a “walk-in” site will significantly enhance kayak, canoe and tubing access to the New River.
“From the moment my wife, Kay, and I first set foot in Radford, we were charmed by what the city of Radford has to offer and its potential to grow alongside the university,” Radford University President Bret Danilowicz said. “This partnership will set a course for a future of economic growth and recreational development that will benefit Radford University students and residents of the city.”
Under consideration is an amphitheater that would serve the citizens of Radford and the students and employees on campus. “The hope is to plan construction such that events might be held at the venue within three to five years,” said Danilowicz.
In another joint effort, a group of local regional partners will explore development of a river crossing that could utilize a former rail trestle in east Radford.
“Enhancements along the New River near the Dedmon Center will offer our students unique educational and recreational opportunities, without having to leave the campus,” Danilowicz added.
“I’m excited to explore these opportunities together as we build the Radford community of the next 50 years,” said David Horton, mayor of the City of Radford. “Strengthening this partnership for the benefit of the entirety of Radford is crucial and the result should be a bright future for all citizens of our community with sustainable growth and resources that lead to an even better quality of life here. Our entire City Council and City Staff are working diligently to help advance these priorities through our engagement with citizens, boards, commissions, and working groups.”
Refurbishment and improvements along East Main Street are planned for the next 24 months with the city, university and private stakeholders working together to address blighted and damaged structures, street upgrades and paving, lighting, and overall utilization.