Letters to the Editor

Move beyond St. E’s

We have a great opportunity to move forward beyond St. Elizabeth’s hospital. Yes it is a loss of a great service to Belleville, but it also allows the city to transition on to something much better for the future and economic stability of the city. I am proposing Lindenwood University take over the hospital facilities and expand their program to rival what they currently have in St. Charles.

The university wants to expand but is land locked in its present location. I believe their expanding to a second campus in Belleville to the hospital buildings will be a great addition to the city and revitalize downtown with support businesses. Imagine what 10,000 students coming to this campus will do for the local economy.

Unlike Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, where the campus is 3-4 miles from downtown, students will be within walking distance to local retailers. I have sent a letter to the Chamber of Commerce and the reporters who wrote the recent article regarding O’Fallon’s gain and Belleville’s loss. We should not be looking at it this way. We should be looking at St. E’s move as an opportunity to reinvent Belleville into a community centered on higher education. I believe it is ideas like this that are more apt to take us into a brighter future. I hope you will join me in promoting this idea. As St. E’s moves on, in two years we can move forward to a new Belleville.

James Hettler