County Materials Complex plans to include newer additions

The County Materials Complex is set to include a sports medicine center and diagnostic imaging

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The Country Materials Complex is set to be in place of the Student Transit-Eau Claire, County Materials corporation and Fabick Cat.

Mayo Clinic Health System has announced new additions to the upcoming County Materials Complex. This building is set to begin construction this spring after being announced in 2014.

According to a UW-Eau Claire article on this announcement, Mayo Clinic plans to add a diagnostic imaging and a sports medicine center. The center has been given approval for a total of $11 million in funding in 20,000 square feet of land. 

The center is expected to include sports medicine services, a fixed MRI machine, multiple X-Ray machines and an ultrasound procedure room according to the same announcement article.

The complex itself is a collaboration of the Mayo Clinic Health System in northwestern Wisc., UW-Eau Claire, the city of Eau Claire, Visit Eau Claire and Blugold Real Estate.

The announcement article listed above also said these additions to the complex aid the research goals that UW-Eau Claire has been allowed to pursue. 

According to Richard Helmers, a doctor and regional vice president at Mayo Clinic Health System, UW-Eau Claire will be collaborating with Mayo Clinic for research within the complex.

The Country Materials Complex overall is set to be built south of Menomonie St. according to the UW-Eau Claire facilities projects page. This complex is set to be next to Hobbs Ice Center and across from the entrance to Carson Park.

These additions in Sport medicine will increase the amount of sporting services in that area of Eau Claire with Hobbs Ice Center, Carson Park, the YMCA tennis center and UW-Eau Claire just down the road.

The diagnostic imaging and sports medicine center add onto the already planned out complex. According to the same facilities projects page, the center will include the Sonnentag Events Center, the Sonnentag Field House, a fitness and wellness center, Blugold Athletics offices and multiple sports courts.

According to the facilities projects page, the Sonnentag Events Center is set to be a 172,502 square foot facility to be rented out for different events. The room’s occupancy is set at 5,000 with 3,250 fixed seats and 1,320 seats that can be placed anywhere in the facility. 

The Sonnentag Field House is set to have a 100 yard turf field for multiple sporting events. Both of the Sonnentag additions are receiving funding from John and Carolyn Sonnentag, alumni from UW-Eau Claire according to the facilities projects page.

These two benefactors, according to the facilities project page, are Mayo Clinic affiliates who the sections of the complex are dedicated to. Besides the financial donations that were made, the Sonnentag family also donated the 21 acres of land by the Chippewa River to the complex to be the site of the complex.

The fitness and wellness center in the complex is planned to be a 24 hour facility that takes up two stories. The four separate sports courts are able to host basketball, volleyball and similar sports that are played on hardwood flooring according to the facilities project page.

The size of the entire complex is now set to replace Zorn Arena on the UW-Eau Claire campus as the largest indoor event venue in northwestern Wisc. according to the facility projects page.

Students at UW-Eau Claire are closer to being able to use this new facility with construction starting soon. During a referendum in April 2021, further described in the facility projects page, the university student body voted on student use of the complex.

The vote established a referendum that gave students a new segregated fee for use of the complex and overall maintenance. The agreed upon fee is set to be $90 for students every semester. 

The County Materials Complex was announced in 2014 and this recent announcement of additions adds to the conversation before construction begins this spring. The video of the announcement of the diagnostic imaging and sports medicine center can be found here.

Fisher can be reached at [email protected]