In a recent letter, Leonard "Bud" Argus Jr. cites the money the city of Belleville has given to Lindenwood University as a negative. I, too, was upset with the sale of the Belleville Township High School West campus for $1. But with the given development of the whole area along with the additional money the city has given them, I think we are getting a good deal. If this hadn't transpired, the property could very well be sitting vacant in a state of abandon.
The school has been a catalyst for much improvement -- the conversion of the Hyatt Lodge to dorms as well as building two more dormitories; the removal of the old, decaying church building and the purchase of many houses in the immediate area for student housing. Also the State Police Crime Lab, which is close to opening, probably would not be there if not for the university.
I think the school should help increase business for the area merchants and help area property values.
It takes an extended view to see the benefit and I think we will be pleasantly surprised.