A Tale of Two Cities: Winnecke vows to “fight like the dickens” By: Brad Linzy


A Tale of Two Cities: Winnecke vows to “fight like the dickens”
By: Brad Linzy

In a recent statement to an Indianapolis radio show, Mayor Lloyd Winnecke said his Administration would “fight like the dickens” to bring a proposed 4-year IU Medical School to downtown Evansville.

In his statement, Winnecke suggested he would fight both developers without and developers within the City of Evansville who want the med school built anywhere but downtown. “We are in the early stages of putting together what we think will be a dynamite plan for downtown,” Winnecke said, “and we know that we will be competing with developers who will want it in another county. We know we will compete against developers who will want it in other parts of the city, but we’re gonna fight like the dickens to get it right downtown.”

The Mayor’s remarks follow a trend of politicians supporting downtown growth in Evansville by pumping millions into downtown projects. The Ford Center, the Loft developments, Front Door Pride, and now the new convention hotel are just a few examples of this trend.

According to statements released by several City Council members, a majority of them also support a downtown IU development, although it is unclear how many would support a development in another part of the city.

John Friend, a Councilman from Ward 5, the most remote Ward in relation to downtown, has publicly stated support for a downtown development, but has also expressed reservations, “I think we should keep our options open as much as possible. We don’t know what [IU] are looking for exactly. We do know they’ll probably want access to teaching beds.”

Dan McGinn, the Councilman from Ward 1, also represents a remote ward with relation to downtown. He could not be reached for comment.

Ward 3 is the home to three of the proposed sites for the IU medical school (Roberts Stadium, Evansville State Hospital, and Old North High School). Stephanie Brinkerhoff-Riley, the Councilwoman from Ward 3 is adamant about finding out more about what IU wants. “We really need feedback from IU, because we haven’t asked. Warrick County has an active committee and they’re getting information somehow. We’re behind,” said Brinkerhoff-Riley.

She also thought the idea of pitching the Roberts Stadium site had merit and could reinvigorate the Boeke area. “Roberts would be a great site,” she said. “It’s an idea that eliminates a lot of problems. It’s already razed for development. It doesn’t put it on the tax rolls, but the dog park wouldn’t have done that anyway. At the Roberts location it bridges east and west. Boeke could be a Broadripple type development in the future with the right planning. East side has stretched out so much Roberts Stadium might be a perfect bridge.”


  1. Correction to this article…

    The article mentions THREE of the proposed sites are in Ward 3, actually FOUR of the talked about sites are in Ward 3, Stephanie Brinkerhoff-Riley’s Ward.

    1: Roberts Stadium
    2: State Hospital
    3: Promenade Development on Burkhardt
    4: Old North High School

    For a detailed map of the locations of area hospitals and universities in relation to the proposed sites, click here: https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?hl=en&mid=zl7L8cNHY9EI.k2mpnNQ2oObA

  2. State Hospital campus with all that ground? Intriguing… I had thought the old Welborn Hospital….Robert’s Stadium….hmm

    • I researched some historical on the former buildings on the site you refer to. (State Hospital/sanitarium) Someone told me they once had a all hallows eve themed building making money there,chuckle, also said that was called the “phantom theater” and now the same people have it downtown….unintended one liner there. 🙂
      When built those old historical buildings had large brick lined sewer tunnels servicing the buildings combined sewers.
      When the site was demolished did they fill them in or just cap them off and leave the undermining infrastructure in place ?
      Could those possibly be receiving CSO during storm related CSO effects from the old connections leading out to combined system out flux? down the Lloyd. Or the southern Lincoln ave.corridor?
      Could be the source of the perpetual sewer smell at the Roberts and Lloyd/Vann interface?
      The whole area in that ward needs a flow redirection junction to control the localized storm water drainage for such an large plot. Blending that improvement with the Roberts site can provide climate change environmental improvement incrementally and likely federal support for the plan.
      This would be building your infrastructure forward and leaving an open end for other applications to control the CSO before it inters the system downtown at the treated conditional River outflow end point.
      Less incremental rain effect on purposed methods to recover and treat CSO discharge downtown.
      The rain events should/can be controlled incrementally with input adjustment covering Eastland mall, Morgan ave,Lincoln/Vann. Roberts site,Wesselman’s woods to Morgan,and Morgan to the creek.
      The Theater drive,border running back to the creek.
      New Building sites along Green river with large roof and parking foot prints should control and stage rainwater on location incrementally with non potable usage such as landscape other and useful controlled discharge Water features, fountains large Koi ponds and other eye candy customer touch points. If you go to a large Bass pro complex, who doesn’t look at the fish tanks?

      “Run off storm water controlled,used for incremental greenspace management. “Staged and featured” to the creek uncombined.” Creates,and sustains construction,logistics,advanced environmental based bio-technical jobs.
      Builds for sustainability for innovative Climate change planning forward. Enterprise follows with applications sustainability. purpose that to IU.

      (One stone lots of birds.)

    • I have been backing the idea of a proposal that includes the Roberts Stadium property and adjoining ESH property. It is literally minutes from downtown and U of E, which is an academic partner in the venture. The location is in very close proximity to many of the potential sites for clinical rotations, convenient to the only real 24/7 “life” in Evansville, and affordable housing.
      We need to build on what we have right now, not the “pie in the sky” renewal of downtown.

      • There is a company in Redlands, CA called ESRI that specializes in GIS solutions. These are basically spatial attributes that are defined and weighted as desirable for a certain business and region. A well defined GIS based solution would take the guesswork and feelings out of the process for locating the IU Medical school. Of course data driven decisions are like kryptonite to politicians.

        • Good basic logic. The key, however, is in assuring the criteria variables levered in the weights. If done properly, these would be determined by a reserves optimization logic from real world existing Medical Schools. Think about the key output variables from what would first be used to define success for a medical school outcome. Could be something like graduate placement, five or ten year post-graduate/post-residency performance success, etc. Once those are nailed down, then the locations of the programs from which the students graduated would be location analyzed against available potential independent input variables to fine the best fit solution. From that, the independent variable weights would be determined and used locally.

          Per your point, assuming you could even get the politicians to understand and agree to using the GIS solution, you know they would be in there trying to game the input criteria rather than identify the most appropriate variables.

          • Exactly! …

            Talking recently with Bob Warren, director of ECVB, he told me the new Convention Hotel would bring 13 million a year to the City. This figure was news to me.

            He is on record two years ago saying we were loosing 8 to 12 million a year without a Convention Hotel. (averaged to 10 mill)

            When I brought this to his attention he cited “ADR” an adjusted room rate being responsible for the larger figure. This is an example to me of tweaking the exponents when the un-doctored figures don’t meet one’s needs.

            I then asked him “what will you say next?”
            I got no answer. …

        • Useful resource for GIS solutions,good forecast data and product.
          Data and kryptonite VS politicians,trending shows the data subject would get de-funded.
          That “huge screeching sound” echoing to the east.

      • Elkaybee: The facts are with the locations available everyone is mentioning. A looming problem your city has to fix isn’t going to improve by added strain on a already over utilized undersized crumbling infrastructure.
        The increased service access points required to fully support a site that”s being projected compounds quickly at the junctions and other conduits.
        That doesn’t work now.

        Who’s basement or street is going to be the holding area for the standing combined sewage a new additional load will put into the already archaic underfunded infrastructure you have there?

        At any location in town right now that is only one of the two problems that should be overcome with a advanced plan to ease forward into this century,the road system needs work big time.
        Throughput is terrible and the surface conditions of most of your main streets could pass for an industry torture track built for automobile test to fail standards.
        If and when they do start working on a real solution to the CSO mandate “how many more holes are going to appear”.
        Goodness, the new road leading northeast has failed as installed, and is subsiding into the creek out there each day.
        That’s some of your newest infrastructure,gee and they plan on increased traffic with a Ball field development.
        Evansville needs a whole community reboot with projected infrastructure to sustain any one location for a Medical center project.

        I would be one who would support conceptualization of campus and housing built and cost effectively sustained in several locations per degree program for lecture and clinical thereof.
        Improved access and utility planning at each, therefore you have forward movement in the whole community and a thriving student population blended into a open box plan with movement forward throughout the whole metro.

        Commerce drivers would be basic daily needs supply chained to sustain a student at a students level of funding.(supply chain logistics)
        Combined that,revenue adds up,unlike the combined stuff,that adds reverse revenue cost by mandate.
        The “projected CSO Events plan solution” (isn’t approved) at its costing by the EPA yet.

        Diligentia maximum etiam mediocris ingeni subsidium.

        Diligence is a very great help even to a mediocre intelligence.

        Speaking about myself there Laura.

        Talking about medical schools.

        (I have this compulsion to speak Latin)
        ( Latine loqui coactus sum ………..)

        I do always look forward to your inputs on these things.Your sensibility is not a given for most, from what I perceive.

        die dulci freure

        Have a nice day!

  3. we don’t own Welborn hospital, the rest would be relatively free ground. My bet on this is in Warrick County somewhere near the Epworth Rd medical complex

  4. SBR is correct, find out what IU wants, then adapt. To loose this opportunity becausee of blind desparation to get this downtown is ignorant. No surprize here, both W’s have shown extraordinary levels of stupidity already. Maybe we can have another election before the decision is made. With Wieneke in charge we have little chance.

  5. So once again, under the mantra of “saving downtown,” we are going to “fight like the dickens” against any other idea or developer? Sure, let’s risk this deal for some undefined idea of a revitalized downtown.

    • Mayor W’s “dynamite plan” may well blow up in the faces of the people of Evansville.
      As usual, SBR is right, we need more input from IU. Maybe she could run for Mayor of Evansville, and Winnecke could be Mayor of Downtown Evansville.
      We really don’t need more divisiveness, do we? We really do need a Medical School in this county, no matter where!

  6. Heck we ought to build an arena on the riverfront. No wait we can build it next to a Hotel with a parking garage. Now lets tear down half of the Hotel with plans to refurbish it. Wait a second we now need to tear down the rest of the hotel and parking garage. So now the city in its wisdom decides to give away 20 million dollars for a hotel and parking garage. The parking garage is the only thing the city will own but will cost us to run and maintain. Now we hear the Macurdy deal is crumbling quickly and looking for a deal! The crooks,cronies and clowns are laughing all the way to the bank. Everyone who pushed this needs to be voted out fresh leadership only need apply!

  7. I would not put all my eggs in one basket. The medical school is needed not only for the downtown but for the rest of the city. It’s an asset that can’t be taken for granted that it will be put downtown.

    Plans should also be made for developing the medical center some where in Vanderburgh County.

    If I were in charge of finding a way to attract IU to Evansville I’d be asking a lot more questions to the IU medical People and find out exactly what they are looking for in order to find out what THEY are looking for.

    The mayor needs to think about this harder. Warrick County has an excellent chance to land this Medical School. They have land and they have one of the newest and largest hospitals for the IU Medical School to associate with. Deaconess Gateway is the newest hospital in this area and they could easily land this IU Medical School out by their hospital. They could easily build apartments or dorms for the students out by the Gateway Hospital.

    I’d like to know just how many medical students will be attending this Medical School if one is actually built in our area.

    And USI already have medical school facilities for IU right now. They have had a two year medical school out at USI since the 1970’s. I know a few doctors who went to school at USI and then transfered to IU to finish up their medical studies. And everyone knows that USI has plenty of room to grow out there. And with the Lloyd they have access to all of Evansville and even Warrick County. It’s a short 25 minute drive across town from USI to Warrick County.

    I’m all for a new Medical School. I think we need more medical schools turning out more doctors.

  8. Actually another spot to debate would be between the Lloyd Expressway and the OLD Deaconess hospital. That area is pretty blighted but many of the worst have already be razed. If built there, it would reopen the downtown to north side connection that the Lloyd dike isolated. The more the downtown is connected to the broader community, the less downtown will be a development island unto itself. Vectors of development, with themes to coordinate their focused development, would offer the broad basis for an actual strategic plan.

  9. i hope it goes to warrick county, these bumbling fools at the civic center cant get anything right. will serve them and all their rich crony friends right!

  10. For our community to get the most bang for its buck, downtown is the place.

    Imagine adding all those students and teachers to the downtown restaurants and bars. Then add in the housing. Grad students like living downtown in lofts. The housing demand from IU Med students would push downtown further than anything else we can build down there.

    • It would lift any part of the city it went into, including downtown. But the larger question remains…why should downtown get all the projects? Why should a sitting Mayor be advocating for only ONE location when he is Mayor of an entire city, not just the downtown area?

      • BINGO!!! The only answers I can think of is that the Mayor is not very good at his job, or he’s a crook, owned by downtown interests.

  11. The IU Medical School is too good of an opportunity to let the attempts to site it here be handled by amateurs. I don’t think the current crew is up to the task. We don’t need anymore bungle, at least for a while. If the IU Trustees aren’t thinking towards downtown Evansville, is it true they’ll have a Dickens of a fight on their hands?

    • I hope the locals get all the input they can get and let reason prevail. I know, fat chance of that happening, but this is too big a deal to get co-opted by the “Downtown at All Costs” crew. Proposals have to fit real needs and be based on the “here and now” instead of bending the current reality to fit the real, stated needs.
      A hotel connected to the Ford Center is not “transformative.” A Medical School is. I just want it to wind up in this county, not Warrick.

      • Strong voices are needed in quiet rooms. Voices not apt to foot their mouths. They need to get in early and dig in deep, as others are undoubtedly already doing. You’d like to be able to assume that is being done but I wouldn’t bet on it. I’m not sure which way the latest debacle (the hotel) would cut if I looked at it from an IU Trustee’s view.

        • Well, that’s exactly what’s happening… The Administration is trying to bully the debate early and limit it to a discussion of downtown come hell or high water. It is by definition limiting, and it might just cost Evansville the project if it turns out IU isn’t into downtown and we haven’t prepared any alternate presentations.

          Anyone who has worked retail knows that when someone comes in wanting to buy something you first need to qualify their needs and wants. It’s hard to sell someone something they’ll be happy with if you don’t listen during this early critical stage of the conversation. If you just ignore them and dive straight for the high margin thing you’re desperate to get rid of and become a pushy salesman for that thing they neither want nor need, you’re going to end up watching them walk out the door empty handed.

          As salesmen for ALL of Evansville, not just downtown, I’d like to hear every politician including the Mayor selling Evansville as a whole and presenting a pitch that keeps the options WIDE OPEN as possible. If IU wants downtown, great, let’s see if we can work something out, but if our leaders throw all eggs in the downtown basket and only eat, breathe, think and shit downtown and lose the deal simply because IU wants to butt up right next to a major hospital complex when there are options in the St. Mary’s area, it will be a tragedy. All this talk about how much downtown could be transformed is more fairies and unicorns at the end of the day. A lot of things would be transformative to downtown if someone wanted to build it there. That doesn’t mean it’s going to happen or that simple force of will can make it so.

          The Mayor has displayed an ability to communicate what HE wants to see done thus far, but I haven’t seen him display much of an ability to listen and assimilate different ideas.

          • Looks like time to organize a resistance. Where do we start? I’m guessing we need to lobby City Council.

  12. Soooo…. first they blow smoke up our bums to ramrod this hotel mess through saying “we NEED this for the IU medical school, we HAVE to have this for the medical school”…. now they are telling us “we haven’t researched anything about the IU medical school”??!! Good grief, can Evansville leaders think ahead of the game for once? Sad that they are publicly admitting the missing forethought/pre-research.
    I think all Vanderburgh County locations have their high points & low points. I’m undecided on any of them currently, but I do think this would be a great boost to the area.

  13. LOOK to what is already approved by the common council, and has just been added to your homes monthly bills,look at what that is getting incrementally projected to become by 2016.
    THINK of, and FIND a LOCATION for IUMC/Vanderburgh that CAN improve on that during the building phase.

    Provide a STEP UP for the community to move forward with an Medical center PLAN for review.
    FOCUS on real issues,with real plans,SOLVE problems ,CREATE infrastructure support,IMPROVE employment numbers,pay the bills already tabled.
    Make a proposal WITH a planned LOCATION that CAN SUPPORT a Medical center.

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