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Pabst site to house School of Public Health

Artist's rendering of the proposed UWM School of Public Health facility.
Artist's rendering of the proposed UWM School of Public Health facility.
Courtesy of UWM

The University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (UWM) announced recently that it has reached an agreement in principle to develop a facility for the new School of Public Health in downtown Milwaukee.

The university is working with managers of The Brewery on a plan to restore the former manufacturing building at the historic Pabst Brewery site and convert it into the new home for the School of Public Health.

The project will create a 50,000-square-foot facility shared by UWM and other community partners, including the City of Milwaukee’s Health Department. In addition, the site allows for growth and expansion over time as necessary.

UWM Chancellor Carlos E. Santiago said the new facility will allow the university to help fulfill its mission of serving the community. “As Milwaukee’s public doctoral research university, UWM is committed to helping transform our region. By locating the School of Public Health downtown, we will be able to connect our faculty and students with others dedicated to addressing the public health needs of our state.”

Under the plan, part of the cost of the new facility will be funded by a $10 million gift the university received from the late Milwaukee philanthropist Joseph J. Zilber. According to Stephen Percy, acting dean of the School of Public Health, “Creating a downtown location for the School of Public Health is not only consistent with faculty wishes for a significant community presence for the school but also with the faculty’s commitment to community engagement and partnerships.

“From a location at The Brewery we will sustain and grow important connections to environmental health sciences and other disciplines on the Kenwood campus, colleagues in the School of Freshwater Sciences, the City of Milwaukee Health Department, and other partners committed to public health,” Percy added.

Milwaukee Commissioner of Health Bevan K. Baker said that the UWM announcement was the first step in a planned collaborative effort between UWM and the health department to work on serious public health issues. “We are excited about the opportunity that would be created through such an effort. A School of Public Health in downtown Milwaukee would be of immeasurable help in dealing with the serious health issues that our city and others face every day,” Baker said.

According to UWM, no state bonding would be required in the initial financing of the new school. Details of the plan will be reviewed by members of the University of Wisconsin System and the UWS Board of Regents as soon as negotiations have been completed.

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