U of L Wants MFA Program Downtown, But Cost Is A Concern

by Gabe Bullard on December 27, 2011

Cost and value are two major factors in the University of Louisville’s decision over whether to buy city-owned land downtown.

The land was to be taken up by the Museum Plaza skyscraper, which was canceled in August. U of L planned to move graduate programs for business and fine arts to the tower.

The business school is expanding, but the university has not found a home for the MFA program, which has not yet been created and can’t be until the school has enough space.

Provost Shirley Willihnganz says it could be costly to move downtown, but the payoff could be an MFA program that’s involved in the city’s museum and art scene.

“There are a lot of people who have been contacting us and I think there’s a lot of interest in having this program,” she says. “We have always thought that it would be a good idea to have that downtown. One of our goals for that program would be to have it in a place where the community could be a part of it.”

If U of L makes the purchase, the school would have to put a new building on the site. Currently, only empty facades of past buildings remain.

“Those facades would stay,” says Willihnganz. “So, if we were to get to a point where it would look like we were building something, it would probably go in beside those facades and those facades would stay fronting the street.”

The school has six months to decide if it will buy the land.

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