2012: A groundbreaking year
2012 has been literally a groundbreaking year for our university. By the end of the calendar year, ground will have been broken three times for very significant structures. Each will greatly influence the future of UWM.
In June, individuals representing a wide spectrum of public and private organizations gathered to help hammer a symbolic piling into the ground for the $50 million addition to the School of Freshwater Sciences. The addition will not only begin a new phase of integrated marine, freshwater and atmospheric research, but should also help transform several blocks of East Greenfield Avenue on Milwaukee’s Near South Side.
Many of the same people were on hand in October when dirt was shoveled in recognition of the work that was already under way to create the Kenwood Interdisciplinary Research Complex next to Lapham Hall along Maryland Avenue. The building will advance science, technology, engineering and math initiatives with spaces that promote interdisciplinary collaboration and provide core resources (see photo below).
This month, work is scheduled to begin on the business accelerator building on the Innovation Campus in Wauwatosa. We believe that 2013 could be an even more significant year for the Innovation Campus, with additional noteworthy developments possible.
According to the booklet “UWM: A Guide to Campus Buildings,” the last time our university had three buildings under construction in a single year was 1974. That was when the Chemistry Building, Curtin Hall and the Golda Meir Library’s east wing were all being built.
If we expanded our groundbreaking definition a little bit, we could consider 2012 as going a little further toward UWM’s future. Other significant steps forward during 2012 were the opening of the Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health facility in downtown Milwaukee, the many renovations under way in the Northwest Quadrant and the spring referendum by the students that supported replacing the current Union.
In the case of every capital project moving forward, there are parallel stories about the individuals involved in making these projects move forward. For example, Freshwater Sciences Dean David Garman and Zilber School Dean Magda Peck and their staffs are strengthening the academic programs and research operations at their respective facilities.
Well over 50 people were included in a series of photographs that commemorated those who had contributed, so far, to the creation of the Kenwood IRC. Several students, chief among them Eric Grow, were leading advocates of the Union referendum that was supported by nearly three-quarters of the students voting. Retired Union Director Scott Gore also made key contributions to the successful referendum.
I am extremely grateful to everyone at UWM who contributed to making 2012 such a significant year.
Michael R. Lovell