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UW-Eau Claire news release

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Progress continues on campus construction projects

February 15, 2012

EAU CLAIRE — The following information provides updates to current and planned construction projects on the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus.

W.R. Davies Student Center

Construction is on schedule as planned for substantial completion in late June 2012 and opening in August 2012.

  • Interior work is progressing with wall framing nearing 90 percent completion on all floors.
  • Drywall installation is between 10 percent and 90 percent complete on all floors.
  • Ductwork installation is between 40 percent and 100 percent complete on all floors.
  • Steam piping is 90 percent complete.
  • Chilled water piping is 80 percent complete.
  • Electrical rough-in is more than 60 percent complete.
  • Plumbing rough-in and water lines are between 70 percent and 100 percent complete.
  • Elevators are between 65 percent and 100 percent complete.
  • Fire alarm system is 50 percent complete.
  • Kitchen hoods are complete with ductwork 85 percent complete.
  • Walk-in refrigerators and freezers are 70 percent complete.
  • Fireplaces are 75 percent complete.
  • Epoxy and terrazzo flooring installation are scheduled to begin the weeks of Feb. 13 and 20, respectively.
  • Storefront construction will begin within the next two weeks.

The $48.8 million facility will replace the 51-year-old Davies Center, which will be deconstructed. The site of the existing Davies Center will be redeveloped as green space. The approximately 170,000-square-foot new student center is funded through segregated fees, which are paid by students. No tax dollars will be involved in the development of the building.

Education Building

On Feb. 3, design and construction documents for the $44.5 million project were released for bid. Bid opening is scheduled for March 15.

The approximately 170,000-square-foot building will replace the obsolete Brewer Hall/Campus School complex. It will be located between Schneider Hall and Zorn Arena. Campus School will be razed to make way for the new building. The project timeline calls for construction to begin in late spring 2012 with completion in late fall 2013. Funding for the project was included in the 2011-13 state budget.

The new Education Building will house UW-Eau Claire's College of Education and Human Sciences administrative units; significant classroom space; the departments of education studies, English, foreign languages and special education; and select student support services, including Services for Students with Disabilities, the Student Success Center (providing writing, math and other academic support) and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

This is the first new building to be fully funded with state tax dollars on the UW-Eau Claire campus in 30 years. The Human Sciences and Services building on Water Street, constructed in 1982, was the last fully state-funded building.

Children's Center

The university had been planning to build a new Children's Center next to the Human Sciences and Services building on Water Street. However, bids for the project, which opened Aug. 10, 2011, exceeded the $3.8 million budget, and options for how to best proceed were explored. Those options included redesign, value engineering and other cost-reduction measures, and off-campus relocation sites.

In October 2011, Blugold Real Estate LLC, a subsidiary of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation, announced it had purchased the former St. Bede Monastery for use by the university. The monastery property includes 112 mostly wooded acres in the Town of Washington and three building complexes totaling approximately 80,000 square feet. It is located three miles south of the UW-Eau Claire campus. The sale price was $1 million.

The first intended use of St. Bede's by the university is as the relocation site for the current Children's Center. Because Campus School, which currently houses the Children's Center, will be razed in spring 2012 for the Education Building project, the Children's Center must first be relocated. The Children's Center will occupy approximately one-third of the overall building space at St. Bede's, and the remaining two-thirds will be available for other purposes.

After obtaining conditional use permits from both the Town of Washington and Eau Claire County for the intended uses of St. Bede's, Blugold Real Estate conducted a public request for proposals from contractors to serve as the construction manager and contractor to make necessary improvements to the facility. Market & Johnson Inc. of Eau Claire was selected as construction manager and contractor.

Blugold Real Estate is currently working with the university and state of Wisconsin on a lease agreement for the buildings and property. That lease agreement will be considered by the UW System Board of Regents and the State Building Commission at their respective March meetings.

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MR/JP/DW

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