Montevallo Main Street is currently undergoing renovations. Photo by Katie Compton

As Summer draws to a close, normal student life here at the University begins again. After the initial excitement of orientations, reunions and new classes dies down and students settle in, an annual question comes to the minds of new and returning students alike; “what is there to do around here?”

What the city of Montevallo lacks in size, it makes up for in a distinct personality. While one can find this unique atmosphere regularly in such places as the Main Street Tavern or Orr Park, Montevallo regularly distinguishes itself through numerous events and projects. Led by the campus and city alike, these endeavors ensure that the city is always changing and evolving to suit the needs and interests of its residents.

Mayor Hollie Cost provided insight into the plethora of upcoming events that students have to look forward to. “We probably have more natural beauty to appreciate and more culture in a town this size than any other place in Alabama,” said Dr. Cost.

Among the most immediately notable projects currently underway is the Main Street Renewal Project. A facet of the Main Street Alabama, the project seeks to renovate and revitalize the town’s most central point.

The ongoing construction along Main Street seeks to bring more walking space, public benches, new traffic lights and many other amenities. All these changes intend to make the town more accessible to both those with disabilities as well as citizens in general.

Cost commented; “Just expect for [Main Street] to be a much more welcoming place for the community.”

Other changes coming to Main Street include several new shops which will be revealed at a later date. One new addition, however, is nearing completion and has proven to be the talk of campus. The Main Street Taco Bell will soon be completed, much to local excitement. The establishment was brought to town by a student led petition, and will open shortly.

Another project in the area nearing completion is Shoal Creek Park. The 167 acre park off Montevallo Road will feature scenic vistas, hiking trails and recreational areas for all ages.

One of the most momentous occasions in the coming weeks is the town’s bicentennial celebration. On September 9th, Orr Park will play host to the Bicentennial Birthday Bash, a carnival like event to celebrate the milestone. The event will host local artists and historians alike, showcasing the long history of the town.

Students are urged to participate in the evolution of Montevallo going forward. The local government offers many opportunities to join committees and dialogues regarding local issues and interests.

“What I would want students to do is to feel that they are truly a citizen of Montevallo,” says Cost, “You’re not just here temporarily, you’re here, you live here and you’re a citizen of Montevallo.”