LANGSTON, Okla. (KFOR) – Plans are underway to revitalize the town of Langston.

The town is home to Oklahoma’s only historically Black university and has seen great growth recently.

But despite all of that, it’s considered a food desert.

Leadership in Langston is starting from the ground up, hoping that paving the streets will pave the way to success.

“It would mean a lot because I grew up here,” said Mary Boyles, wife of Mayor Michael Boyles. “There’s so much that we can accomplish.”

Boyles is spearheading a movement to revitalize the town her husband leads.

“We’re going to spruce it up, put a big bow on it, make everybody proud of it and hopefully they’ll come and participate,” said Langston Mayor Michael Boyles. 

Langston is best known for Langston University, Oklahoma’s only HBCU. It is home to an undergraduate population of nearly 2,000 and a surrounding city that’s growing.

Despite that, though, Mayor Boyles says their town is now considered a food desert.

“It’s 22 miles just to get a tomato,” said Mayor Boyles. 

“Healthcare, food access, access to education, that’s pretty much all the basic things people need in a community and those are all the things that are lacking for Langston,” said Erica Johnson, a local realtor on the city’s planning committee. 

To attract new businesses like grocery stores, city leadership understands they need better infrastructure.

In February, Mrs. Boyles and her dedicated team are starting the “Pave-The-Way Project.”

For anywhere from $45,000 to $120,000, you can pay to repair a street and have that street named after you.

“I mean, anybody would love to see their name on a street, right?” Mary Boyles said. 

City leaders say it’s important to not only serve the population but to restore this town to its former glory, if not better.

“We’re working on an industrial park,” said Langton Chamber of Commerce CEO Charlene Meeks. “We’re contacting different companies and agencies to help us and everybody is so excited to come on board and start working with the town.” 

If you’re interested in the project, you can call the Langston Planning and Economic Development Group at (405) 788-2178.