by ANNE KUNKEL
DULUTH, Minn. - Rumors of the old Armory on London Road becoming the site of a Dinkytown has University of Minnesota Duluth students excited, and curious about what exactly the city is planning to do.
"I think it'd be totally cool. We need a set place beside school to be able to hang out," said Liza Foresberg, a sophomore at UMD.
The building in question, the historical Armory, sits on London Road across from Leif Erikson Park. "It'd be a beautiful location to hang out. I'm for it," said Maureen Muthemba, UMD sophomore.
Currently the Armory Arts and Music Group own the building, and are making plans to transform it into a new hang out for students, with plans for a coffee shop, music hall, and even an apartment complex being discussed.
However, with new dorms being built in Griggs Hall at UMD, other student apartments may have to work harder to attract students. Griggs Hall is estimated to house another 280 students come next fall.
An informal survey done by the Arts and Music group showed that 83 percent of students would consider moving to the new apartment complex if it were built.
This renovated building will be mainly music based, according to the Arts and Music Group. There are even plans for a new music education course to be taught at the Armory, with hopes that will draw students from local community colleges.
"I think it's a good idea," said Gretchen Clement, a UMD freshman. "But I think if it's a place for everyone, it should offer everything. Maybe we should make campus our own Dinkytown."
This is the area which concerns most UMD students. Students surveyed on who would be interested in a Duluth Dinkytown, about 45 percent liked the idea but wanted it to be more central to all students.
Concerns of the students are important, and encouraged by the planning committee. Nate DeMars, part of the planning committee for Dinkytown and a UMD graduate, wants students to express their opinions. A Facebook page, Historic Duluth Armory, has been set up to allow students to give feedback and ask questions.
"I think in order for it to work, people have to listen to what the students want, not just what the planners think is best," said Mellissa Hillsher, a UMD junior.