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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Howard Rural Learning Center Building Bustling Downtown

KJAM has been giving good press to the Rural Learning Center's plan to expand its Howard facility. The new main street facility, slated to open next year, will include a hotel, restaurant, and conference center and will add 18 employees to Howard's job rolls. They'll also do some cool green stuff, which means conservative retro-snobs like Fastidious will never visit.

Hey, wait a minute: hotel and conference center, downtown... where have I heard that idea before? And why is Howard able to capitalize on it while Madison's economic development are content with flowers for Main Street?


  1. There's one thing missing from this multi-million dollar Rural Learning Center...The population and transportation access to sustain it. Adding a hotel and convention center along with spending millions on new construction in an isolated town of around 1000 people doesn't make sense at first blush, but we don't have all the arguments for funding the project. Maybe there is something larger that we don't see upfront. Could it be "if you build it, they will come" mentality, or the product of a great organizer and grant writer who should have been recruited to Madison years ago?

  2. All the old Wenk buildings should be removed on the other side of Egan. They are a cruddy eyesore except the original right next to the water store.

    Rod makes the point we seemed to have failed to bring in the money and it takes grant writing. I'll keep saying it: we need a city planner hired by the city to pull this all together.

  3. Whoever is ponying up the loans, grants, and gifts to support the project isn't deterred. Either Randy Perry is a silver-tongued devil, or some folks in Howard are able to see things that Madison can't. Sometimes they call that vision.

    John: The Wenk buildings -- indeed! Easily as big an eyesore as Wiedenman Plaza was, and much closer to downtown, yet no one else hollers about it. Hmmm... opporuntity knocks for someone who wants to rebuild the Lake Park/General Beadle Hotel?

  4. Again, John, I agree with you. In fact, I've thought for awhile that if only I had a million dollars, I'd buy up that whole spot along the tracks on SE 2nd from Washington to Egan and turn it into a big park/community gardens/retail business plaza. It would be a great entrance to the south end of downtown and directs people right to the Chamber for visitor info.

  5. Christine Nelson6/24/2009 7:51 PM

    I think the real reason this is going on is to produce jobs for myself and Joe. We have to move somewhere when he decides to leave the Army.

  6. That's a good enough reason for me, Christine!

    [By the way, an Anon leaves an interesting comment about an RLC partnership with Airstream. Interesting. Useful. Not harmful at all. So why does that comment require anonymity?]


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