Bill Wasch sent the following commentary in to The Eye, after attending Tuesday's forum at Wesleyan on the possible move of the Wesleyan bookstore to a new shopping center on Washington Street. Wasch is an alumnus and former trustee of Wesleyan, a Middletown resident, and founder of a business that designs, builds, and remodels homes for seniors.
I was there today in the back. I was very much disappointed in the presentation and thought Wes should be able to do better. I thought the best comment was by the person who talked about the connection between the campus and downtown along Williams Str. I was on the Wes Board of Trustees when we hired the former Harvard planner to establish the main campus road behind North college which follows the line through the art center to behind the former Scott lab and over Church to the Science Center. This is the diagonal of the campus and has done a lot to integrate the campus via the student union and former squash courts. It is ridiculous to try to tie Wes to downtown any other way, the current axis supports the Wes book store which houses WESU and a comfortable book cafe. Why a new big box book store (Barnes and Nobles and many other book stores are on the way out)? I do not think much intelligence has been exerted on the current plan. I was embarrassed for the proponents and hope they give up sooner than later.
The developer who was running the meeting did not endear himself to the audience in the way he handled the meeting nor did Wes impress me through its presentation.
All in all, a sad commentary on Wes planning.