Plan to Move It to Ann Arbor
LEGISLATORS PRESS IT
Ground It Costs Nearly as Much as University.
A Mistake Was Made When It Was Located at
Houghton. -- Talk of Using Its Buildings for a Normal School.
The following interesting dispatch from Lansing appeared in this morning's Tribune and a similar dispatch in the Free Press:
Lansing. Mich., Special Telegram, March 26. - The people of the upper peninsula will be interested in the fact that not withstanding the unanimous recommendation of the house committee on education that the proposed new state normal school be located at Marquette, there is a very strong probability that it will be located at Houghton.
They will be still more concerned by the announcement that the Michigan College of Mines now located at Houghton, will be removed to Ann Arbor and the building thus vacated be utilized for normal school purposes.
This solution of the problem, which is very much more than a mere possibility, is the outgrowth of a rapidly increasing sentiment among the legislators, especially the senators, against appropriating any more money for the maintenance of the College of Mines in its present location.
A total of $494,000 has thus far been appropriated for this institution since it was founded, and it is asking this legislature for $170,000 more.
Very many of the legislators who made the junketing trip through the upper peninsula last month have expressed the opinion that the state has paid altogether too dear for this whistle, and the conviction that Houghton and Marquette counties have combined to capture all the good things that are apportioned to the upper peninsula from time to time.
In the present instance it is believed that if the representatives of these two counties had not entered into a combination, the normal school would have gone to Menominee.
The legislators who favor the removal of the College of Mines to Ann Arbor and making it an adjunct of the university, show conclusively that a well conducted normal school can be maintained at Houghton in the present building for about $10,000 a year.
The location is an ideal one.
Attention is called to the fact that this little college, with only about 100 students, is asking for $170,000,whereas all the university realizes from the one-sixth mill tax placed at its disposal is $186,000 a year.
The university is now asking for a science hall, which is imperatively needed, and the amount asked for by the upper peninsula college would build and equip a science hall that would not have a superior in the country.
The work done at the College of Mines could be made a part of the department of mechanical and raining engineering of the university with but little additional cost.
It is cited that one of the best mining colleges in the world is conducted in connection with Columbia college and the cost of living at Ann Arbor is much less than at Houghton.
President Pro Tem. Loomis and Senators Graham, Brown, Suyre, Potter and Blakeslee are among the influential members of the upper house who favor the removal plan, and they are gathering facts and figures to demonstrate the wisdom of the change, while Lieut. -Gov. Robinson, who resides in Houghton county, and Senator Wagar are opposing it.
"Two years ago, " said Senator Graham, "I favored making this change and I am thoroughly convinced that it should be wade.
The College of Mines is asking for more money every year, and it would be wise to correct at once the error of locating it where it is. "
Senator Brown, who is chairman of the committee on university, says he is getting together material to prove to the tax payers that the removal should be made.
The two institution are now doing parallel work, the Houghton college simply duplicating that done at Ann Arbor.
The university, he says. has a better laboratory than they will ever have at Houghton.
Although the friends of the latter school are always claiming the advantage of having the college located in the mining district, the fact is that the students do not have entrance to the Calumet & Hecla mine at all.
Last year, he claimed, the students spent every Saturday in some of the other mines, or only about 40 days all told.
"We raise by taxation for the university each year," said Senator Potter, "the paltry sum of $180,000, and here comes this little college with a request for $170,000.
Just compare the great university with 3,100 students to the college with its corporal's guard of students.
Why, with only two extra professors the college could be maintained with great credit to the state at Ann Arbor, and on this point I have collected facts and figures which I will submit to the appropriations committee when the college appropriation bill comes before them.
Senator Blakeslee confessed to being one of the originators of the removal plan.
"When I was in Houghton in January," he said, "I inspected the college and it looked to me as if it had not been run more than three months.
I could not possibly see where the half million dollars it has cost the tax payers had gone. "