November 1, 2019


Take a walk around downtown Saginaw and it's easy to see all the progress.

From the Bancroft and Eddy apartments to the SVRC Marketplace, the heart of the city is reinventing itself.

Colleges and universities are part of the landscape too.

In August, Delta College opened its location along East Genesee Avenue, while Central Michigan University is along the river front too. CMU Research Corporation is in the SVRC Marketplace, while CMU Health is along South Washington Avenue.

Now, Saginaw Valley State University is looking to join them.

"We'd like to have that be something that can enhance what we're doing from an academic perspective," said J.J. Boehm, interim executive director of university communications.

He said there are some programs where Saginaw's urban setting versus the Kochville Township campus' more rural setting would be beneficial. In addition, their students are already learning and working in the area.

"We have our nursing students in hospitals, we have our students in education settings, we have our students in internships in businesses," Boehm said.

Graduates are in Riverfront Saginaw too.

Alina Anderson decided to stay in Saginaw after graduating in May. She is the assistant to the president and operations coordinator at Saginaw Future, Inc.

She believes a Riverfront Saginaw location for SVSU students would allow them to explore an area they might not find on campus.

"The more exposure you have, the more you connect with the area," Anderson said. "I for sure feel Saginaw has become my home, because I'm originally from Kalamazoo."

On Monday, SVSU's Board of Control approved spending up to $270,000 to remodel a yet-to-be leased building just down the road from her office.

"Makes sense," Anderson said, before sharing what she's seen and heard about the opening of Delta College's location. "And so they're talking about how much more traffic there is, especially foot traffic, and how much nicer it is for students, again, they can walk and have lunch."

SVSU hopes to make a similar contribution.

The regional university believes growing into the city of Saginaw is the next logical step.

"We see ourselves as critical to the health and vibrancy of the Great Lakes Bay Region, and for us to be able to do this in Riverfront Saginaw, we think is a natural extension of what we've been doing," Boehm said.

If everything works out, SVSU would like to have a lease signed sometime in November and potentially have classes there next semester.