Canceled Catholic Dorm Contract is a Loss to UIC and to Chicago

According to the Chicago neighborhood paper the Gazette on 5/2/14, after several years of trying to obtain City approval, the St. John Paul II Newman Center at UIC, due to City delays and perhaps some preservation and NIMBY opposition, lost the contract option for the property at 1352 S. Union St., which would have added another dorm to the UIC South Campus community–

http://www.gazettechicago.com/index/2014/05/uic-newman-center-loses-dorm-contract/

This is a great opportunity lost for the UIC campus, and for the City of Chicago. A corresponding Newman dorm at UIUC is a major part of the campus landscape, a draw for students nationally, and a contribution to the diversity of the university —

http://sjcnc.org/Facilities.aspx

That any bona fide entity ready and willing to invest in building and supporting a complementary dorm for the UIC community should fail to receive City approval does not bode well. Chicago is losing population, and therefore losing taxpayers and all that this loss means economically and socially. But a university draws population to a city, and strengthens a city as a creative center. Each opportunity lost to build a university community is another opportunity lost to further build a city.

There are many willing to stop projects and to interpose and to shape them, but there are very few willing to sponsor projects who are also capable of actually making them happen. Chicago is littered with decades-old ghost buildings and vacant properties with no funding to put them into use that serve as dingy daily rebukes to those who can stop projects, but who can’t build them. Chicago needs more builders, not more stoppers.

Perhaps another opportunity will arise. . .

© Copyright 2014, Albert J. Schorsch, III
All Rights Reserved

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