Q&A with Katherine Pointer

Q&A with Katherine Pointer

Story by David Heiling, Sports Editor

Friday afternoon, The Spectator’s David Heiling sat down with 20-year-old Katie Pointer, a student member of the Board of Regents for the UW System. As a freshman at UW-La Crosse, she was the Vice President of the College Republicans and went on to be a financial advisor to the Ron Johnson campaign in 2010. Pointer was in Eau Claire for the official unveiling of the W.R. Davies Center, and shed some light on the proposed Confluence Center.

David Heiling: There is a new proposed Confluence Center for downtown Eau Claire that would add to the campus. What can you tell me about how this idea is progressing?
Katie Pointer: That’s what we talked about today. The thing with Eau Claire is you guys have a rich history of collaborations within the community. You’re successful with it as well. The Hobbs Center is a great example of that. The confluence center is going to be a great example of that as well. It’s going to be the biggest endeavor that you guys have done in a while.
DH: How do you think downtown will benefit from this if it’s pushed through?
KP: An arts center would really revitalize the community, it would be great for UW-Eau Claire but it would be great for downtown as well. For private business owners down there, the Ramada Inn is down there and it’s not doing well right now. If there is an arts center there, it will really attract more people to the area and enhance downtown life.
DH: What is the process of approving this confluence center?
KP: I think the community outreach is going to be a huge factor in the Board’s decision of approving it. What happens is it goes through the Capital Planning and Budget Committee, which is a sub-committee of the Board, the committee that I’m on. Then we bring it to the full board and usually there is a unanimous vote, if we have already approved it, the board usually never denies it.
DH: How much money would this confluence center cost and where would the money come from?
KP: From my understanding of it, its a $90 million project, they are only asking for $25 million from the state. A lot of the other funding that will go to this if its passed is from the city, the county, and they will attempt to raise private funds.
DH: Being a student yourself, do you think this is a good idea for the UW-Eau Claire campus to spend this money for this project?
KP: There is a huge need for it on your campus. You guys have such a great performing arts program. It would attract world-renowned faculty, a higher caliber of students and would overall be a great addition to the campus.