The Spectator

New Science and Health Sciences Building passes first step in approval process

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Biennial capital budget proposal, with funding for new science and health sciences building, recently approved by UW-System Board of Regents

Philips+Hall+has+been+a+part+of+UW-Eau+Claire+campus+since+1963.
Back to Article
Back to Article

New Science and Health Sciences Building passes first step in approval process

Philips Hall has been a part of UW-Eau Claire campus since 1963.

Philips Hall has been a part of UW-Eau Claire campus since 1963.

Photo by Sam Farley

Philips Hall has been a part of UW-Eau Claire campus since 1963.

Photo by Sam Farley

Photo by Sam Farley

Philips Hall has been a part of UW-Eau Claire campus since 1963.

Advertisement

A simple stroll around the UW-Eau Claire campus makes it clear that the university is in a transitional state. Construction sites are scattered throughout both upper and lower campus, and the symphonies of various trucks and tools blare as students hustle to their classes.

The changes coming to UW-Eau Claire go beyond what the eye can see and what the ear can hear. According to the UW-Eau Claire website, on Aug. 23, a biennial capital budget proposal, which includes funding for a new UW-Eau Claire Science and Health Sciences Building, was approved by the UW-System Board of Regents.

The approved budget proposal allots a total of $256.15 million to construct the new hall – $109 million will be allocated to the 2019-2021 biennium and $147.15 million for the 2021-2023 biennium.

Assistant Chancellor for Facilities and University Relations Mike Rindo said the new Science and Health Sciences Building, which has been a topic of discussion since 2008 and will replace the outdated Phillips Science Hall, is a part of the university’s 2010-2030 Master Plan.

Some other aspects included in the 2010-2030 Master Plan — completed and uncompleted — include Davies Student Center (completed in 2012), Centennial Hall (completed in 2014), the Pablo Confluence Center (completed in 2018), Garfield Avenue (ongoing), the Karlgaard Towers renovations (ongoing) and a new residence hall (ongoing).

The recent budget approval is the first of many steps in the approval process, Rindo said.

Many factors — structural and functional — contribute to the need to tear down Phillips Hall and start anew, Rindo said.

“Phillips is 55 years old; it was constructed in 1963 when science education was very, very different,” Rindo said. “It has a lot of single-use labs, not a lot of collaborative spaces. … It still has all the original windows, the roof leaks badly, it’s overcrowded.”

A large focus of the construction is the desired research collaboration with Mayo Clinic, Rindo said.

Rindo said the new Science and Health Sciences Building — which will be replacing the Putnam and Katherine Thomas residence halls — won’t negatively affect university housing. In fact, because of planned residence hall renovations and constructions, Rindo said bed numbers will be up by about 33% when all is said and done.

Additionally, Rindo said that since the two lower campus housing options will be replaced, steps have been taken to keep housing handicap-accessible. Alternatives include Aspenson Mogenson and additional housing options on State Street.

Professor Harry Jol, who has been a part of the Geography and Anthropology department since 1996, said that an up-to-date science building with new teaching labs, research labs and places for graduate students would allow for more dynamic teaching and variety. He said he sees it as vital to UW-Eau Claire’s success.  

“Having traveled around different parts of this country as well as internationally, I’ve noticed there are a lot of new science buildings being built,” Jol said. “A lot of universities are attracting a lot of students by having these new science buildings, and by not having one, we’re losing students.”

A major stress throughout the upcoming process should be transparency, Jol said. It’s important for students, faculty and stakeholders to be included in the conversation regarding the new science hall.  

In the next step of the approval process, according to the UW-Eau Claire website, the biennial budget request that includes the new science building will be sent to the state Department of Administration. Here, it will be considered part of the governor’s executive budget. Information regarding the governor’s executive budget will be released sometime this January or February, Rindo said.

If all goes as planned, Rindo said the design process for the new Science and Health Sciences Building will begin in 2019, with construction beginning in 2021 and finishing up in 2023.

“If we can get a modern, state-of-the-art science and health sciences hall, it really will open up many more opportunities for our students and faculty and our collaboration with Mayo,” Rindo said. “It’s not only good for the campus, it’s good for our region.”

 

Reisdorf can be reached at [email protected]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About the Contributors
Taylor Reisdorf, Managing Editor

Taylor Reisdorf is a fourth-year English critical studies student. This is her fourth semester with The Spectator. She enjoys traveling, writing, books and foods of all kinds, margaritas and her amazing friends.

Sam Farley, Multimedia Editor

Sam Farley is a third-year multimedia and web design student with a minor in Spanish and a certificate in computer programming. She can be found outside with her camera, at the nearest bowling alley or on campus solving crypto quotes and watching Tasty cooking videos.

Leave a Comment

The Spectator intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Spectator does not allow anonymous comments and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • New Science and Health Sciences Building passes first step in approval process

    Column

    Old News

  • New Science and Health Sciences Building passes first step in approval process

    News

    The Forum: gerrymandering, its history and the Supreme Court

  • New Science and Health Sciences Building passes first step in approval process

    News

    Former city councilman and current president of Uniting Bridges reflects on instances of unity and advocacy throughout his life

  • New Science and Health Sciences Building passes first step in approval process

    News

    Historic State Theatre enters its next chapter

  • New Science and Health Sciences Building passes first step in approval process

    News

    Police Blotter

  • New Science and Health Sciences Building passes first step in approval process

    News

    ECPD responds to 10 crashes, 60 vehicle assists due to snowfall

  • New Science and Health Sciences Building passes first step in approval process

    News

    Student Senate passes resolution in support of new science building, tuition freeze

  • New Science and Health Sciences Building passes first step in approval process

    News

    Police Blotter

  • New Science and Health Sciences Building passes first step in approval process

    News

    Relationship between popular culture and politics is examined

  • New Science and Health Sciences Building passes first step in approval process

    News

    Professor utilizes historical knowledge and passion to spur local and state-wide progress

Navigate Right
The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.
New Science and Health Sciences Building passes first step in approval process