UWM to locate School of Public Health at former Pabst brewery

The University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee announced that it has reached an agreement to locate the new School of Public Health in a building at the former Pabst brewery complex in downtown Milwaukee.
“As Milwaukee’s public doctoral research university, UWM is committed to helping transform our region,” said UWM Chancellor Carlos E. Santiago. “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.”
The former brewery complex is being redeveloped into a mixed use urban neighborhood called The Brewery. The redevelopment project was started by Zilber Ltd. founder Joseph Zilber, who died earlier this year. His company is working to complete the project.
The UWM School of Public Health will occupy 50,000 square feet of space in the brewery’s former manufacturing and cold storage building, located on the east side of North 10th Street between Juneau Avenue and Winnebago Street.
The 92-year-old, 5-story building only has 32,440 square feet of space, so Zilber Ltd. will need to build an addition, said vice president Mike Mervis. There is room to add up to 100,000 square feet of additional space on the north and east sides of the building, he said. An addition of at least 18,000 square feet of space will be built to accommodate the UWM School of Public Health, Mervis said.
Also, Zilber Ltd. plans to eventually build a parking structure on a vacant lot to the south of the building, and the structure could also include office space, Mervis said.
Part of the cost of the new UWM School of Public Health will be funded by a $10 million gift the university received from Zilber before he died. Zilber wanted the School of Public Health to be located in downtown Milwaukee and had worked before his death to bring it to the former Pabst brewery.
“Joe Zilber would be smiling,” Mervis 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.
Some UWM faculty members wanted the School of Public Health to be located on the university’s main East Side campus. But supporters of a downtown location said it would allow for collaboration with the City of Milwaukee Health Department and would foster work on health problems in the central city.
“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,” said Stephen Percy, acting dean of the UWM School of Public Health. “From a location at The Brewery we will sustain and grow important connections to environmental health sciences and other disciplines on the (East Side) campus, colleagues in the School of Freshwater Sciences, the City of Milwaukee Health Department, and other partners committed to public health.”
Milwaukee Commissioner of Health Bevan K. Baker said, “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.”

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