Tuesday, October 28, 2008

County, UWM Consigning New Engineering School To Old School Site

There's word Monday that the County is moving faster towards selling land at the County grounds to UW-M for its new Engineering campus.

Of course the county is a willing seller: A land deal means revenue to the county from a willing buyer, UW-M, which wants to set its new Engineering and Research campus on bucolic, brochure-friendly acreage.

But what about the students? Is separating them from the main campus on the East side in their interest?

Is this how students get a well-rounded education?

And how will they get back and forth to the main canpus, their dorms, their apartments and the rest of their lives?

Will all their social science, liberal arts and elective course teachers also be shuttling back and forth from Wauwatosa and their East side offices? I talked to a faculty department chairman the other day and this official was not happy at all with this prospect.

Will Milwaukee County be running shuttle buses cross-town every ten minutes? Every hour? Daily?

Will Scott Walker, the champion of the Wauwatosa campus, start campaigning for a light rail line there, too?

Let's be be honest: a lot of kids are going to have to buy cars to get an Engineering degree from UW-M.

This new campus should either be sited on the East side, or on a bus route near Marquette and the MSOE campus, where the other engineering and science students and programs in Milwaukee are already located.

Given the price of gas, the cost of owning and operating cars, the region's already-dirty air, and the congested traffic patterns near the County grounds, it looks like at the very moment when society is turning towards green, the County and UW-M are taking their new school in an old school direction.

5 comments:

Dave Reid said...

Thanks for keeping up on the fight Jim. My only hope is enough of the County Board realize how bad an idea that this truly is.

jpk said...

Why UWM is creating a Tosa campus with plans already underway for a new school of public health downtown is beyond me. Instead of consolidating campuses and saving taxpayer $, UWM and the County are contributing to sprawl. Disappointing.

NinerNate said...

This is bad in the short run, but it provides another rationale for rail in the long run. It will happen eventually.

Anonymous said...

#1: Freshman and Sophmore Engineering Students will be able to cmplete their first 2 years of coursework without leaving the eastside campus.

#2: This is an infill site at the center of already developed land. The notion of sprawl neglects the fact that Wauwatosa is an inner ring suburb.

#3: Almost half of the Engineering students at UWM are commuters with jobs and homes located off the east side. This proposal will save these people gas. Additionallly the Tosa campus allows courses from any department to be taught on the westsided further aiding UWM's commuter population.

#4: UWM is in the process of spreading all over Milwaukee County, examples include the Kennilworth Building, the new dorms, and the water quality institute. UW-Milwaukee is not UW-East side. It is a Milwaukee County GEM and should be treated as such.

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