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UW-Eau Claire Student Senate Contributes
$250,000 to Renovate and Expand Hobbs Ice Arena

RELEASED: March 5, 2008

poster for Future of Ice campaignEAU CLAIRE — University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students have taken the lead in making the possibility of expanding and remodeling Hobbs Ice Arena in Eau Claire a reality.

The Student Senate voted Monday, March 3, to commit $250,000 to the Future of Ice campaign, which will help pay for improvements and additions to the 33-year-old arena.

The funds are part of a $6 million public-private partnership plan to make renovations to the aging arena, including a dedicated area for Blugold hockey operations, new locker rooms and a weight and training room.

The city of Eau Claire, UW-Eau Claire men's and women's hockey programs, Eau Claire Figure Skating Club, Eau Claire Memorial and North high school hockey programs, and Eau Claire Youth Hockey have committed to raising $2 million through the Future of Ice campaign for the renovation and expansion plan.

"I applaud the willingness of the Student Senate and the UW-Eau Claire students to support improvements to this important community resource," said Raymond French, president of the Student Senate. "Not only will this contribution help the university's athletics programs, it will help local schools, youth programs and the citizens of the community enjoy winter sports. We take pride in being part of that."

Support for the Student Senate vote was echoed by the UW-Eau Claire Foundation, which provided an additional $250,000 in matching funds. Combined with the students' allocation, the total contribution from the university of $500,000 represents one-fourth of the funds necessary to fulfill the $2 million campaign goal.

"The Foundation was impressed by the students' initiative and was motivated to help leverage their investment in this project, which will not only improve the Blugold men's and women's hockey programs but also is a strong commitment to the community that the university serves, " said Albert Colianni Jr., president of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation board of directors.

Funds committed by the Student Senate will come from student segregated fees, which are allocated by the Student Senate each year to fund a variety of activities, organizations and projects. Segregated fees are separate from tuition, housing and other fees paid by students.

"This investment by our students to support the Future of Ice campaign is part of a commitment to partnership efforts between the university and the community that is very important and very necessary," said Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich. "As they did in 2003 with the improvement to the football stadium at Carson Park, our student leaders are to be commended for their foresight in pledging their money to a project that goes beyond the benefits to the university."

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