The city of Oshkosh faces a historic decision with regard to a potential sale of Lakeshore Municipal Golf Course to Oshkosh Corp. It is no understatement to say that the impact of this decision will be felt for decades to come.
Lakeshore and Oshkosh Corp. each have a unique history in Oshkosh — respective histories that fuel strong sentiments and high emotions. Lakeshore has provided a bucolic setting for golfers for more than 80 years. Many Oshkosh residents learned to play golf at Lakeshore and generations of families have taught their children how to play the game on that course. Likewise, Oshkosh Corp. has a long history in Oshkosh, recently celebrating its 100th anniversary. Multiple generations of Oshkosh residents have worked for the company, taking great pride in producing a product that is regarded as well-engineered and of high quality. Its distinctive logo is recognized around the world. The longstanding history of these organizations make the decision all the more difficult and complex.
Many have suggested that this conundrum be resolved by merely having Oshkosh Corp. find an alternative site in Oshkosh to build its headquarters. That suggestion is far too simplistic. Oshkosh Corp. undoubtedly has a specific set of criteria it requires for this project. One can assume that the criteria include access to an interstate highway; a site large enough to accommodate a campus that will expand in the years to come; and access to an airport, restaurants and hotel accommodations, among others. The Lakeshore site seems to provide all of these. Surveying the local landscape, it is difficult to believe that there are many, if any, alternate sites that provide all of the amenities required for a project of this magnitude.
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