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University student center construction timeline updated, Phillips lot to remain open fall semester

RELEASED: Aug. 23, 2010

EAU CLAIRE — The project timeline for the new university student center at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has been clarified to meet all processes required for final design, bidding and start of construction.

The project timeline is being adjusted to provide the architecture and engineering firms of Bray and Burt Hill sufficient time to finalize the design of the building and to provide the Davies Center Redevelopment Steering Committee time to thoroughly review the design and construction documents. The initial timeline projected the final design and review process would be completed by the end of this month; the new timeline extends that process to late October.

Under the new project timeline, bidding is estimated to take place in November, and construction of the approximately 170,000-square-foot, three-story student center could now start in early 2011 rather than late November. Occupancy still is expected in 2012.

"The adjustment in timeline was necessary to ensure that the building will be done right," said Dylan Jambrek, current student body president and a member of the steering committee. "The last thing we would want to do is waste the students' money for a building that was rushed. This was a good and necessary decision by the steering committee."

Tim Lauer, past student body president and also a member of the steering committee, agreed that the timeline adjustment is appropriate.

"It is important that we take time to review all the details that have been drawn and engineered over the last two years of planning so that students indeed receive the best possible building when the heavy equipment leaves and the dust clears in a couple years," Lauer said.

The project timeline change means the Phillips parking lot, originally scheduled to be closed in late November, now will be open for parking during all of fall semester. Parking in the Phillips lot still will be reconfigured in preparation for its eventual closing during construction. Details about the lot's reconfiguration will be distributed through the Parking and Transportation Services office. The date the lot will be closed will be announced before the beginning of spring semester.

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. View the site plan online.

The $48.8 million project 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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MR/JP/DW

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