Saturday, June 6, 2009

UW-M's Freshwater Science School Site Debated: I Propose UW-M's Alumni House Property

Sunday's Crossroads section has a long editorial arguing in favor of locating UW-Milwaukee's planned School of Freshwater Science on the Pieces of Eight restaurant site.

The paper offered me the opportunity to disagree, which I appreciate - - and in a companion piece, here, I pro-actively propose locating the new school on a site twice as large, and three miles closer to the main UW-M campus - - its Alumni House on Lincoln Memorial Drive that is mere steps from both Lake Michigan and an existing water science facility: the city's Linnwood water treatment plant.

The alumni house is already home to UW-M's foundation and other outreach activities: its conference center and meeting facilities could be incorporated into a new, redefine facility - - a signature building at the entrance to the lakefront.

And a site free of the legal, parking and larger environmental issues that will dog the effort to shoehorn the new school between the art museum's Calatrava addition and Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin.

A new school might help raise Discovery World's profile, but would add nothing to the Calatrava - - which needs no subsidaries.

Again, as I argue in the op-ed: let's slow down the rush to approve a small and inappropriate site and, while we're at it, let's embark on a true public planning process to craft a long-range vision for the lakefront that would stop this anecdotal, Jack-in-the-box approach to lakefront use and development.


marie said...


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Warm Regards Team

Matthew said...

I am not sure that your site would be any better. About 1/3 of the site is a large bluff, which cannon be built on while the historic nature of the neighborhood any building would have to pass through stringent historical reviews before any projects could occur and the site is further from the main Water Institute building, and is no longer located in a signature location which is why the Pieces of Eight site was chosen.