Planned new WMU dining hall creating controversy
Updated: Sunday, April 14 2013, 09:48 AM EDT
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Controversy is brewing over plans for a new dining hall on the campus of Western Michigan University.
Student groups are now lining up against the project, ready to protest if they have to.
They're concerned about losing hundreds and hundreds of trees.
Scott Warner, of the Western Michigan Biology Club pointed out that one of the reasons his club and many others are trying to save the area is that the proposed area is one of the last remaining natural woods on campus.
Students say the area will soon be home to a giant new dining hall of more than 26,000 square feet with seven restaurants.
"It's death by a thousand cuts," Warner said. "They're going to keep developing and developing bit by bit, and they say they're going to replace it with better stuff, but there's no space left to replace it."
The construction of the new building overlooking Goldsworth Valley Pond would knock down at least 500 trees. A sign on-site though informs anyone walking by that the new landscape will be more diverse and sustainable, but not everyone is buying it.
The co-chair for the group Students for a Sustainable Earth told Newschannel 3:
"We believe this is just the most recent example of a larger issue this administration has with poor land use, lack of transparency, uncontrollable spending, and an unwillingness to address the deep concerns on the on and off campus community members."
Students are hoping to meet with President Dunn over the issue.
They're also planning on going to the Board of Trustees meeting next week.