The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

New education building planned

Junior special education and elementary education double major Emma Brennan can recall her first exposure to Campus School. It was her freshman year, and as she attempted to navigate her way around the building she noticed something different about the 57-year-old building.

“I was in Hibbard quite a bit before,” Brennan said. “It just seemed, coming from other buildings . that the facilities weren’t as nice.”

Since then, Brennan says she has experienced a lot of great memories in Campus School and enjoys her time there. However, she says upgrades to the facilities are needed.

The Wisconsin Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee seems to agree. Just two months after the State Building Commission declined to commit the money needed to construct a new College of Education and Human Sciences building, the committee approved the $44 million request as part of the UW System 2009-11 Capital Budget, according to a press release.

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Construction for the new building that would replace the Brewer Hall and Campus School complex near the southwest corner of Garfield and Park avenues would optimally begin in July of 2011, Dean of Education Gail Scukanec said. However, she said it likely won’t start then due to other construction taking place on campus. But a new Children’s Center has to be built, and the Campus School needs to be torn down before construction can even begin on the new building.

Scukanec – who credits Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich, Sen. Pat Kreitlow, D-Chippewa Falls, Kathleen Vinehout, D-Alma, and Democratic Representatives Jeff Smith and Kristen Dexter of Eau Claire for making the construction possible – said the building will not only improve an already-good collaborative effort between education majors, but will also help non-education majors by supplying more classrooms and service centers to alleviate overcrowding taking place in other buildings’ classrooms.

“There are a lot of classrooms on campus where there are too many students and overcrowding is happening,” Scukanec said. “It will be wonderful to get some larger classrooms and provide more space . and academic solutions (to other buildings).”

Blueprints and specific features to the building have yet to be finalized. Scukanec said the shape of the building will be determined by where the exact building location is. That will then decide exactly how high the building can go and its exact dimensions. There will be an effort to make the building environmentally friendly, along with having prototypical elementary classrooms, Scukanec said.

Although education majors like Brennan won’t directly benefit from the new building, Scukanec said it will help students to take pride in their campus. She added that the strength of the institution they graduate from can affect them in the future.

“Some of the building space and classrooms and offices (in Campus School) I don’t think most students would look at and say they can be proud of,” Scukanec said. “The new building will be something not only education students can benefit from, but the university as a whole.”

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