Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
June 25, 2021

Initiative aims to revamp local community

By Elizabeth Arenz | October 18, 2012

In pairing with several local organizations and individuals to create the Hopkins Community  Partners Initiative (HCPI), the University hopes to takes steps to improve 10 neighborhoods surrounding the Homewood Campus. The group was formed within the last year.

Salem Reiner, a long-time member of the Hopkins community who this month became Associate Director of Economic Development in the Office of the President, highlighted the initiative’s significance. He also touched on University President Ron Daniels’ dedication to the cause.

“President Daniels originally listed five of his priorities and one of them was for the University to have better engagement with neighbors; this idea picked up steam two years ago,” Reiner said.

The HCPI is specifically targeting the 10 communities directly around Homewood, as well as the Waverly Main Street district. By working with previously existing programs and two elementary schools, the University hopes to make the current residents of these areas more active and invested in the improvement of their neighborhoods.

“The initiative is a coordinated strategic approach to engage the community,” Reiner said. “The Anchor Institution has existed to do this and allows us to work together in areas where we overlap with neighbors, for example, in safety and security.”

The HCPI is looking to not only improve the safety and security near the Homewood campus, but also the retail options available.

In spite of Baltimore’s resources, Hopkins lacks the immediately accessible commerce often available to students near their college campus.

Joseph McNeely, a consultant hired to counsel Hopkins throughout the ongoing initiative due to his experience with similar projects, described some of the plans advised in the “Findings and Recommendations” of the HCPI, recently published and available on the school’s website.

“Developing a great deal at 33rd will happen and falls under Hopkins’s control. This and several other projects are most likely to be implemented soon.”

McNeely, who joined the project in the summer of 2011, said that the idea for this kind of widespread improvement has been developing for at least a year.

“I was hired to advise the University in their venture and to engage the community in doing so,” McNeely said. “The process of making recommendations involved hundreds of people who created a plan.”

McNeely also commented on the longevity of the venture.

“Some of the actions recommended this summer are going to go on forever and have long term perspectives to them while others, that improve safety and security around campus, will be done quickly,” McNeely said.

Hopkins views the HCPI as a necessity because the state of the area surrounding the Homewood Campus is inextricably tied to the school’s success and the retention of its reputation.

“One of the main reasons that students who are accepted choose to go elsewhere is the setting immediately outside of the campus,” McNeely said.

Sophomore Georgina Rupp remembered her decision process and feels lucky to have not been deterred from Hopkins because of its less than ideal surroundings.

“Other than Hopkins, I applied to only liberal arts schools in the middle of the woods and only evolved my thinking to desiring an urban location after visiting the school and falling in love with

the campus,” Rupp said. “I’m happy I didn’t change my mind despite what friends and adults said about the city because now I’ve discovered that Baltimore has amazing offerings in terms of restaurants and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by this especially.”

It has been estimated that the HCPI will cost over $60 million, if all recommendations made under the guidance of McNeely are implemented. President Daniels and his advisors at Hopkins are still deciding how much of this total cost Hopkins will contribute, but individuals and organizations have already declared themselves financially committed to the endeavor.

Reiner explained that since specific actions have not been selected yet, the total cost of the project cannot be determined, and will most likely not be determined in full because of the different time periods of each stage.

“The price tag is the whole aggregate of all the programs that will be implemented over a multi-year period but because of the recommendations will be implemented and some won’t, it is still being determined,” Reiner said.

surrounding the Homewood campus is inextricably tied to the school’s success and the retention of its reputation.

“One of the main reasons that students who are accepted choose to go elsewhere is the setting immediately outside of the campus,” McNeely said.

It has been estimated that the HCPI will cost over $60 million, if all recommendations made under the guidance of McNeely are implemented.

President Daniels and his advisers at Hopkins are still deciding how much of this total cost Hopkins will contribute, but individuals and organizations have already declared themselves financially committed to the endeavor.

Reiner explained that since specific actions have not been selected yet, the total cost of the project cannot be determined, and will most likely not be determined in full because of the different time periods of each stage.

“The price tag is the whole aggregate of all the programs that will be implemented over a multi-year period but because of the recommendations will be implemented and some won’t, it is still being determined,” Reiner said.

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