Tuesday, June 18, 2013


I found a Dayton Daily News article by Mark Fisher, from 1991, where the Shroyer Park Center (the the former Children's Psychiatric Hospital, which closed in 1982) is officially being handed over to the University of Dayton.

It starts:

"The city of Dayton officially gave the former Children's Psychiatric Hospital to the University of Dayton on Friday, although some of the hospital's neighbors say they resent the deal."

That being said, there isn't much content to the article that brings forth feelings of resentment.

Interestingly, it sounds like there used to be an at least somewhat active neighborhood association, as demostrated in comments from a Mr. Fred Wallace, who they say would have perhaps liked to see housing at the site.

The article goes on:

"Brother Raymond Fitz, UD president, said the university had promised residents that there would be no student housing in the area, a concern some residents initially voiced. UD will begin landscaping the grounds and replacing windows, Fitz said, so that the site will become 'an attractive community landmark.' UD has named the complex the UD Shroyer Park Center."

So, 22 years later, how has it turned out? 

I think it is a positive that the Shroyer Park Center provides an explicit connection between institution and neighborhood.  While I personally don't harbor any NIMBY feelings towards the Center, I do know that the issue of students parking on Firwood has bothered some residents on that street.  In fact, some residents permanently leave their garbage/recycling containers out on Firwood which has the effect--intended or not--of prohibiting parking in front of their house. 

No doubt these are not the best of times for Firwood...for a variety of reasons, a number of vacancies have arisen.  It is impossible to determine the exact impact of UD on the neighborhood.  Taking a step back, I think the neighborhood overall is better off with the UD presence, and it will be interesting to see how campus and neighborhood interact in the future.  In the meantime, one certainly hopes things get settled on Firwood, or at the very least that Constantia continues to largely avoid the problem vacancies that have occured on Firwood.

I also think the part about Bro. Ray Fitz promising residents that there would be no student housing is the area is interesting.  Would such a thing matter or be necessary today?  I hope not, and would welcome more students up our way.  It's not like the baby boomers have left a great housing legacy.

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