Many thanks to University archivist Deb Anderson of the Area Research Center and Cofrin Library for digging up the text of a speech that founding chancellor Edward Weidner made at the 1972 groundbreaking ceremonies for the College of Community Sciences (today’s Rose and Wood Halls). With so much recent publicity — including a Green Bay Press-Gazette editorial — for UW-Green Bay’s fabulous concourse system, it’s nice to see Weidner’s words that the “tunnels” aren’t merely convenient… they’re important to our mission. Weidner’s 1972 remarks on the topic:
“Contrary to what many people think, Wisconsin winter weather was not the reason for this inter-connection. At the typical university, you find a collection of discrete buildings, each a fortress onto itself. We decided that we would have to do something different, not because of the weather, but because our academic plan is related to problem-solvin… So what we are doing is constructing one continuous big building, with no individual fortresses… This aspect of our physical plan has actually reinforced our academic plan and is permitting us to reach objectives that we could not otherwise achieve…”
The Opinion Page of the Green Bay Press-Gazette took a lighthearted, complimentary look at UW-Green Bay’s concourse system in its Wednesday (Feb. 5) editorial, praising the foresight of campus planners and reflecting on the tunnels’ benefits for students. It’s a follow-up to a front-page story from Friday (Jan. 31) that looks at the concourse system’s mile or so of tunnels — and the benefits they provide in all seasons, especially this frigid winter. Check out the editorial.
A fun Press-Gazette feature suggests that UW-Green Bay students haven’t been all that bothered by the extreme cold: “The University, like a handful of others across Wisconsin, has a system of tunnels and hallways connecting its main academic buildings. That means students can walk comfortably from class to class without piling on the layers.” There are photos, and quotes from Paul Pinkston, director of facilities management and planning, about the system that Founding Chancellor Edward Weidner justified in budget requests as intellectually necessary for an interdisciplinary institution where everybody was interconnected and working with others across campus every day. Read more.