Tuesday, January 5, 2010

UWM Engineering Campus In Tosa To Have Housing

I missed this Business Journal story when I was out of town and want to post a link to it because it shows how the proposed UWM engineering campus on the Milwaukee County Grounds has evolved.

Key point: five historic buildings on the site will be converted to graduate school housing.

My first reaction is that it indicates just how misplaced is this site, and why more than ever the new school should have gone downtown.

Is UWM trying to generate some revenue from the site at the expense of students who will be isolated on the County Grounds?

And will the housing now absolve UWM and the County of the responsibility for providing first-class transit to and from the site?

I am not convinced this site will ever be developed along the lines that UWM envisions, and that as long-term Zoo Interchange construction gets under way, the site's weaknesses will come into sharper view.

Is it too late for UWM to partner with Marquette's new Engineering school now taking shape?


Dave Reid said...

To some extent it is better that they will have housing, at least less driving. That said it definitely proves the point that locating downtown would of been better for Milwaukee.

Oddly UWM just recently announced a big initiative to work with Marquette and MSOE.... But then UWM is going to move its Engineering students further away. Makes no sense.

brent said...

We must always remember that student housing is the cash cow that makes all of these projects viable. UWM goes to the legislature for the bonding authority to purchase land and build facilities. The only means that they have to pay back those bonds is the revenue raised through student housing.It was the formula at Kenilwaorth, it is the formula at Columbia, it the formula at Pabst (School of Health) and now we learn that it is the formula in Tosa. Creating a campus that moves beyond the East side is good for UWM and the City. Having a campus that that is dropped all over the metro area without a plan is simply following the money. (Cudahy, Zilber) That's bad planning for the smallest non-profit much less for a major research institution.

Anonymous said...

If only a small parcel on the south side of the property will be for UWM Research, with no degreed programs, why would they need student housing? The original idea was based on philanthropic money and naming rights, without the donors incentives why are they pursuing this?