St. Louis City leaders have worked diligently to convince NGA Headquarters that the old Pruitt-Igoe site, if selected for siting the new NGA West campus, could restore a severely blighted area of St. Louis, sometimes referred to as “murder city.” They also understand that fear generated by the “Ferguson effect” can help sway that decision.
On the other hand, placing the NGA West campus on the St. Clair County’s site, next door to Scott Air Force Base and the joint-use MidAmerica Airport should be seriously considered. It would effectively solve decades-old problems of blight and socioeconomic hardship in the county’s long-neglected metro-east neighborhoods. The benefits would be especially dramatic in communities like East St. Louis, Centreville, Dupo, Washington Park, Venice, Madison, Fairmont City, Alorton, East Carondelet, Pontoon Beach, Granite City and Cahokia.
So from a socioeconomic standpoint, selection of St. Clair County’s NGA West site would be perhaps the most advantageous to this Bi-State Region in alleviating conditions of unemployment, poverty, racial segregation and crime.
David M. Cornell, B/G USAF (retired), Lebanon