It is just a preliminary plan, but more beach access, public art, and bike paths are just some ideas a group of NC State students have for the future of Kure Beach. NC State graduate student Karen Creech said, "I think the favorite part was thinking of not just the site of K Avenue and the main axis of the town, but how the whole town could function." The changes would mainly affect the heart of the town; K Avenue near the pier, and Fort Fisher Boulevard. "It'll start people thinking, I hope, as a town where they can invest in,” said James Scutta. “If we can start showing what we have, and what benefits we can offer, small businesses can come and look at this as an opportunity." The idea is to make it more pedestrian and biker friendly, even greener, with windmills harnessing natural energy. "Brilliant ideas – really, really innovative,” said Kure Beach Mayor Mac Montgomery. “There were no preconceived ideas about what's right and wrong and it has come out very, very well." In front of a crowd of elected leaders, residents and business owners, both grad students and undergrads presented their ideas. Many of the improvements are already viable, considering they are planned for land the town already owns. The students are just optimizing how it's used. "The highlights are really being able to shape the way a community will function and form in to the future," added Creech. While implementing the plan may be a ways off, the plans will go back to the town's economic development, beautification, and parking committees for evaluation. "We think this is the start of a long term partnership between NC State and the town," Mayor Montgomery said. The NC State students worked for five weeks during the summer, and then resumed again at the beginning of the academic year, on the Kure Beach plan. It is designed to be implemented in phases.
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