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State Building Commission approves new university student center

RELEASED: April 29, 2010

EAU CLAIRE — The State Building Commission gave final approval April 28 to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire to construct a $48.8 million student center.

The building commission's action allows the project to proceed to full design, bid and construction. Bidding is estimated to take place in October, and construction of the approximately 170,000-square-foot, three-story student center could start in November. Occupancy is expected in 2012.

Earlier this month, the UW System Board of Regents approved UW-Eau Claire's request to move into the full design phase of its new university student center project. The Eau Claire Plan Commission and City Council have also recently approved the site plan for the project.

The building will provide students with more and better meeting rooms, a larger ballroom, more lounge and casual space, larger dining spaces and a multipurpose auditorium, among other things.

The new university student center will be built in the space between Little Niagara Creek and the Phillips parking lot on lower campus, just south of Davies Center, the current student union. The building site was shifted to the east toward Phillips Science Hall in order to preserve the Historic Council Oak site. The tree and its site have historic and cultural significance to the campus, Chippewa Valley region and Native Americans. View the site plan online.

The building will be funded through segregated fees, which are paid by students. No tax dollars will be involved in the development or operation of the building.

The new university student center 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.

For details about the project, contact Dr. Beth Hellwig, chair of the University Student Center Steering Committee, at 715-836-5992.

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JB/DW

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