WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

University of Delaware pulls plug on Data Centers Project on STAR campus

Just in this Thursday A.M.:

The University of Delaware has decided to terminate its lease with The Data Centers, ending the TDC's plan to construct a data center (i.e., power plant) on the site of the former Chrysler plant.

A report from the university's faculty and administrative leaders concludes such a facility was incompatible with the vision of a first-class science and technology campus. Fears about greenhouse gases and other pollutants, plus, presumably noise.

The U.D. decision was said to be unanimous.

But will the TDC sue?

I must confess: Those pro-data center radio commercials seemed to signal the TDC folks KNEW they were in trouble.

Those spots sounded like the classic political commercial, voiced by an out-of-town announcer (female) who doubtless does all kinds of such commercials. The comparison of Princeton to Newark, Delaware only made me WANT to visit Princeton to chronicle all the differences between the two cities. The sounds of the railroad seemed amplified just for effect. I kept wondering if they had come from some stock audio of a railroad rather than an actual recording from Newark. In short, the commercial sounded desperate!

But in retrospect, the beginning of the end may have come with the story that New Jersey's Rowan University had considered, then rejected, such a project. At some subliminal level, could the University of Delaware - which rightly or wrongly, had always regarded itself several notches above Rowan in terms of academic prestige and philosphical mission - really sign on to such a project when Rowan couldn't?

But a more tangible reason (from the report): The continuous changes to the project undermined confidence in the developer.

Another thought: Given how the unions worked so hard - some say, bullied - Newark to sign on to this project, one wonders if we'll now see payback. For example, progressives/liberals unaffiliated with labor giving up their support for the prevailing wage in public projects.

Posted at 9:52am on July 10, 2014 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Thu, Jul 10, 2014 10:31am
I'm surprised and impressed that U.D. did this, despite the state's threat to withhold some $3 million in funding if the University didn't get behind it. It was a slimy tactic by the JFC, and I'm glad it didn't sway the University's decision.

Of course, now U.D. tuition will probably rise even faster due to that lack of funding...

Thu, Jul 10, 2014 3:32pm
The U of D certainly did the right thing; now we need the voters of the state to punish state Senator McDowell, Representative Johnson, and Representative Mulrooney for the extortionist and union-thug tactics to force the construction. These individuals need to be charged criminally. Their ethics are below those of common criminals. Mr. Mulrooney is on record for threatening to harm the town of NEWARK via proposed legislation in which he himself had no interest. THAT IS CRIMINAL, and our law enforcement services need to take action against this shill for the unions.

Furthermore, Prevailing Wage should be struck down and then we wouldn't need additional tolls and gas taxes.

Fri, Jul 11, 2014 12:08am
Sustainability. What a bunch of poppycock.

Fri, Jul 11, 2014 9:20am
None of the three above will happen... The money was not taken away... it was left in... It was just a verbal threat.... and verbal threats, as long as they don't involve the threat of murder, are totally legal and happen in business all the time.

Nor is it criminal for a legislator to propose legislation for which he has no personal ties. Governments work that way in the representative system.

And sustainability IS important. Imagine a Pizza delivery service that charged customers less for selling it's Pizza than it cost each Pizza to make. That business's sustainability would be short-lived, ending when all the money ran out...

And prevailing wage is very good for the economy. Getting rid of it would dampen economic activity and in today's declining Delaware economy, that won't happen...

Getting rid of something good for the economy is always bad.

Mon, Jul 21, 2014 10:39am
I hope the TDC sues 'em and gets a billion-dollar settlement!

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