In 2018 the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents approved a biennial capital budget that includes the first phase of funding for the new UW-Eau Claire Science and Health Sciences building. The $109 million was approved in the 2019-21 Wisconsin state budget, and the project reached its first design milestone in June of 2021.
Replacing Phillips Hall, will provide state-of-the-art science facilities for student learning and help to ensure that UWEC continues its tradition as a national leader in undergraduate research. The new Science and Health Sciences Building will be a catalyst for talent and workforce development for northwestern Wisconsin.
The project includes approval for $13.7 million in philanthropic contributions. Mayo Clinic Health System has set a goal for philanthropy to support the cost of creating and occupying a 10,000-square-foot shared research workspace in the building.
Investing in the Health of Wisconsinites
The Chippewa Valley is poised to become a leading provider of health care services throughout northwestern Wisconsin. With the new collaborative research agreement between two of the region’s strongest assets — the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Mayo Clinic Health System — comes a combined focus on education, research and patient care that will be a powerful driver for economic development and quality-of-life improvement. The foundation for this collaboration has already been laid, with outstanding faculty, student researchers and physician scientists ready and able to advance innovation and spark new opportunities for business development. The partnership between UW-Eau Claire and Mayo Clinic Health System is highlighted here. But world-class innovation requires facilities that will meet the 21st-century demands for creative space, interdisciplinary work and advanced technology. Supporting this regional catalyst requires a focused reinvestment in the facilities that will make the vision possible. UW-Eau Claire is ready to lead the advancement of health sciences education to improve the quality of care for patients in Northwestern Wisconsin.
Responsible Use of State Dollars
Renovation of Phillips Hall or inaction would be incredily costly and ineffective. Full replacement is the only responsible use of state dollars. This building is UW-Eau Claire's least efficient and most expensive academic building to operate. The total operational cost exceeds half a million dollars annually. A feasibility study of Phillips Hall found that several major renovations are needed to keep the building functional—including major overhauls of the roof and electrical systems. However, even full renovation would be incredibly costly and fail to fix the building’s fundamental, infrastructural problems, like the floors’ insufficient live-load capacity and the building’s low floor-to-floor height. Despite its significant shortcomings, an average of 5,600 unique students take classes originating in Phillips Hall every academic year. Renovation of Phillips Hall would be expensive and ineffective, and failing to replace the building could jeopardize UW-Eau Claire’s academic mission.
There is no other current project that is more important to the future of our regional economy and workforce than this urgently needed replacement for the aging and outdated Phillips Hall.
The Hub for Experiential Learning and Engagement
Rigorous, transformative learning is a hallmark of all three UW-Eau Claire campuses. Students come to UW-Eau Claire for learning that is rigorous, challenging, engaging and immersive. We surround each of our students with opportunities to live what they study inside and outside of the classroom and across the community. Students do so through collaborative research experiences, civic engagement, immersion, internships and meaningful student employment — all high-impact practices that include intentional refection to help students connect their experiences to their goals and to their responsibilities as active citizens of the community and world.
UW-Eau Claire’s STEM and health sciences expertise has a significant impact on area businesses and organizations. Over the past five years, more than 225 outside businesses, nongovernmental organizations, and government agencies have engaged with the science departments housed in Phillips Hall. These interactions, ranging from consultations during product development to long-term research collaborations, create pipelines to find internship opportunities and future career paths for students by giving their academic work a direct link to business.
Our new science and health sciences building will be the catalyst for innovation, ensure new programing such as the Blugold supercomputing cluster and biomedical engineering, and will expand on our national leadership in undergraduate research and increase new collaborations with community partners to support research opportunities for faculty and students.
Major Milestones *subject to change
|Spring 2022||Full Design|
|Summer 2022||Early Site Demolition|
|Winter 2022||Full Bidding Documents|
|Spring 2023||Construction Begins|
|Summer 2025||Construction Ends|
|Fall 2025||Building Opens|
Letters of Support and Resolutions
Mike Carney, Committee Chair, Associate Vice Chancellor
Amber Anderson, Operations Manager at Mayo Clinic Health System
Kristin Anderson, DFDM Project Manager
Lauren Becker, Student Senator
Jennifer Dahl, Associate Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Kent Gerberich, Director of Learning and Technology Services
Derek Gingerich, Associate Professor, Biology
Michel Harper, Mayo Clinic Health System
Erik Hendrickson, Interim Department Chair and Professor, Computer Science and Physics and Astronomy
Megan C.W. Lagunas, Director of Clinical Learning Center
Doug Matthews, Professor, Psychology
Brian Mahoney, Professor, Geology
Marc McEllistrem, Director, Materials Science and Engineering
Karen Mumford, Director, Watershed Institute
Andrew Nord, Facilities Construction Project Manager
Riley Rakowiecki, Student Senator
Tony Rongstad, Associate Director of Facilities and Sustainability Coordinator
Renee Strehlau, Assistant Director of Facilities and Campus Planner
Troy Terhark, Director of Facilities
Ezra Zeitler, Professor, Geography, Anthropology and American Indian Studies
This feasibility study for science programs at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire was commissioned to evaluate the most feasible way of accommodating science, nursing, and pre-professional health science programs on the UW-Eau Claire campus.
Another major design milestone for the proposed new Science and Health Science Building has been completed with a Pre-Design and programming study.