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image: Campus NewsMidway makeover approved
The University and the Chicago Park District revealed the official Midway Plaisance master plan in April; in May the Park District board approved the first project, an Olympic-size ice rink. As suggested in the preliminary design ("Big ideas brewing in proposed Midway master plan," December/99), the final plan includes the new skating rink, warming house, and winter garden; a children's playground; and an urban horticultural center with demonstration gardens.

The plan also calls for making the Midway a more usable park by creating a drainage system for the playing fields; adding pedestrian-friendly lighting; and providing restrooms, water fountains, and more trash receptacles. The Chicago Department of Transportation has been asked to suggest techniques for calming the boulevard's steady east-west traffic flow, and the Metra viaduct will be repainted and designed as a formal Midway entrance.

To beautify the park, the slopes leading down to its center panels will be planted with 30,000 to 40,000 flowers. Decorative pedestrian bridges will be built at major intersections.

Hank Webber, the University's vice president for community affairs, says the skating rink and warming house, winter garden, slope planting, field improvements, and traffic assessments are planned for the next two years. Within the next five years, he expects that work will begin on the horticultural center, the gardens will be finished, lighting will be added, the viaduct will be improved, and some of the pedestrian bridges will have been built.

The cost of the changes is estimated at $20 million. According to Arnold Randall, Chicago Park district southeast regional manager, the Park District and the University will split the cost of the $4 million skating rink and warming house. The Park District and other public agencies will fund another $8 million of the project, with the U of C and private donors providing the rest.

Also proposed--for the long term--are a fountain at the east entrance of the Midway, a reflecting pool by the Masaryk statue, a reading garden at the base of the Linné statue, and a health and healing garden to the south of the Hospitals. For more information:

Bluestone departs for coast
In April, six months after the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases granted $151.5 million to research teams led by U of C professor Jeffrey Bluestone ("U of C teams head national diabetes research projects," December/99), the immunologist announced that he was leaving the University to join the University of California at San Francisco. Although $18 million of the U of C's $30-million increase in NIH grants from 1998 to 1999 was earmarked for Bluestone's projects, only a few million stayed at Chicago; the rest went to other medical centers that are participants in his studies.

In noting Bluestone's departure, the Chicago Tribune remarked on a "brain drain" in the Biological Sciences Division: Bluestone, who chairs the Committee on Immunology and heads the Ben May Institute for Cancer Research, was the fourth prominent scientist in two years to leave the University for institutions on the east and west coasts.

Glenn Steele, dean of biological sciences and vice president for medical affairs, argues otherwise, pointing to an influx of talent. In the past few years, 13 new biological sciences department chairs--primarily from coastal institutions such as Johns Hopkins and Genentech--have joined the faculty, as well as 12 senior professors. --E.C.

  JUNE 2000
  > > Volume 92, Number 5

  > >
Hyde Park revisited
  > >
Hugo Sonnenschein
  > >
Pan-Asian persuasian

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  > > Deaths

  > > Investigations

  > > Editor's Notes

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