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Media Memo: Council Oak Tree

TO: News/Assignment Editors and Directors

FROM: Mike Rindo

DATE: Sept. 23, 2009

SUBJECT: Council Oak Tree

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich has directed the Davies Center Redevelopment Steering Committee and the project architects to develop design options for the new student center that will preserve the site of the Historic Council Oak and the tree that currently is planted there.

The site for the new student center will remain the same.

Levin-Stankevich made the decision to request design options after listening to concerns raised about the new student center design's infringement on the site and tree, including its historic and cultural significance to the campus, Chippewa Valley region and Native Americans. Levin-Stankevich consulted with student leadership, faculty, staff, members of the Native American community and others before making the decision.

The Chancellor told the University Senate of his decision during a Senate meeting late Tuesday afternoon. Senators (who include university faculty and staff) responded to the news with a round of applause.

On Tuesday night, the Eau Claire City Council approved the site plan for the building. University officials also notified council members during that meeting of Levin-Stankevich's decision to seek design options that preserve the site.

The decision to seek design options comes at a logical time in the building design process — at the end of the preliminary design phase (35 percent of the design completed) but before approval is sought for the full design and construction.

The project timeline originally called for the student center project to be presented to the UW System Board of Regents in October, but the design options requested by Levin-Stankevich could delay that presentation.

For additional information, contact Mike Rindo, executive director of University Communications, at (715) 836-4742 or rindomj@uwec.edu.

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