(whoops- realized I posted this backdated. Here it is as the correct date, 6/4.)
This article in the May 29, 2009 Journal-Sentinel discusses the possibility of UWM's expansion onto what will be in 2010 the former site of Columbia Hospital.
"Columbia St. Mary's Inc. has agreed to sell its buildings next to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to a local developer, and university officials are eager to meet with him to discuss their interest in leasing space for student housing and other uses.
Milwaukee developer Doug Weas said Wednesday he's signed a contract to buy the buildings, which will become available for development in 2010 after the hospital complex closes. UWM Chancellor Carlos Santiago said university officials plan to meet soon with Weas to discuss their interest in using some of space for student housing, student health care, child care and other purposes."
"The university has long eyed the Columbia complex, which covers more than two blocks just across N. Maryland Ave. and E. Hartford Ave. from UWM's campus..."
..."A year ago, more than 20 members of the Mariners Neighborhood Association picketed outside the UWM Union, where the UW System Board of Regents was meeting. Among other things, the neighbors wanted UWM to promise not to use the Columbia site for student housing." This seems a little sad to me.
"Mariners President Michael Rosen said then that students flood the neighborhoods every weekend, attending parties, urinating on lawns and knocking over trash cans."
Personally, I lived in that neighborhood for three years- two years across the street from the Sandburg Halls, on Newport, and one year across the street from the Student Union, on Kenwood Blvd, and I didn't see that kind of behavior. Sure, there was some occasional street noise, but never anything like "students flooding the neighborhoods" and creating a huge level of mayhem. It's by and large a commuter campus. Did the article interview any neighbors who enjoy a proximity to the campus and its benefits- being able to walk to free concerts and art movies, auditing classes, attending lectures... Brain and I go to some of these things. Some of the neighbors do too.
What about this: what if the drinking age were 18? What if there were on-campus bars? Students will drink. Students will go to parties. What if there were safer, more contained places for them to do so? What if?