Roughly two months ago, I was driving by DSU to go to my afternoon class. In the yards of several houses close to the campus, I saw flimsy signs that read “Keep DSU Green”. My first thought was that it was a recycling initiative of some sort. Then I jokingly thought that perhaps they were protesting the inevitable snow that was to come, in an attempt to keep the grass green on the campus lawns. (I’m sad to say that if this were the case, by the looks of the white stuff outside, that initiative would have failed.) A few days later, however, the Madison Daily Leader came out with an entire article that explained the “Keep DSU Green” issue. Many reassuring emails were also sent out to us students by the head honchos at DSU explaining the problem that was behind “Keep DSU Green”.
To give some background on the issue, we here at DSU have received the generous gift a new Beacom Center. However, the choice for its location has created somewhat of a dispute, as each one has its definite pros and cons. According to the Daily Leader, there were three main spots to be considered as potential locations for the Beacom Center: the former Madison Community Hospital building, the green area in to the south of East Hall, and the parking lot in between Heston Hall and the Girton House (large house just to the south of the parking lot.) The proposition that would have the Madison Community Hospital was ruled out due to “ceiling height and potential for low ventilation”. This made it unideal to become a classroom building.
The choice for the center to be placed on the grassy and spacious area in front of East Hall is where the “Keep DSU Green” initiative stems from. I had a chance to speak with the President of the Student Senate, Anastasia Gentles to find out more about the issue and to get somewhat of an overall update on the where the placement of the Beacom Center will be.
Anastasia told me that the “Keep DSU Green” movement is mainly community-driven, particularly by those who are recognize DSU as an integral part of the community and by those who live close to the historic portion of DSU. (Hence, there being the signs mostly found on the road just to the south of East Hall.)
Committees met, meetings were held, opinions were given, and all possible pros and cons were exhausted and poured over. The final decision for the located of the Beacom Center is the parking lot in between Heston Hall and the Girton House. However, this choice immediately sparked up a new issue, particularly in the students of DSU. That parking lot is where the residents of Richardson and Emry Halls park, respectively.
Anastasia was quick to counteract this point of mine. She did the math and gave me the figures. The new Beacom Center will be built upon 98 parking spots. However, with DSU’s acquisition of the old hospital, there will be 98 new parking spots provided. Therefore, in a sense, the parking issue neutralizes itself out.
All in all, the Beacom Center is a wondrous gift to DSU, and we are grateful to be receiving it. Location is always a large issue for new buildings, and the pros and cons of each location were dealt with carefully and considerately. As the saying goes, in the end, you can’t make everyone happy. However, I would personally say that the “Keep DSU Green” issue itself ended on a happy note.