The State of Wisconsin has allocated $340.3 million for the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire to replace its sole science facility, Phillips Hall, with a state-of-the-art Science and Health Sciences Building. Designed for contemporary research and education for students in high-demand STEM fields, the new building will be constructed on the former site of the Katharine Thomas and Putnam residence halls that were demolished in the fall of 2022. You can view a live-stream camera of the construction site as the project moves forward.
Replacing Phillips Hall will ensure 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 collaboration 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
A feasibility study of Phillips Hall found full renovation would be incredibly costly and fail to address the building’s fundamental infrastructure issues. Design work on the replacement Science and Health Sciences Building has been ongoing since the state enumerated the first phase of funds in 2019, and the remaining funds were enumerated in the 2023-25 state budget.
The completion funding approved in 2023 included $226.8 million in cash from the state surplus. Funding a significant portion of construction using cash in place of state-supported bonds to be repaid over decades will save the state tens of millions of dollars. UW-Eau Claire is committed to maximizing the state’s investment in its distinctive educational 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 decade, more than 350 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
|Summer 2022||Early Site Demolition|
|Fall 2022||Preliminary Design|
|Spring 2023||Full Design and Bidding Documents|
|Spring 2024||Construction Begins|
|Spring 2026||Construction Ends|
|Fall 2026||Building Opens|
Mike Carney, Committee Chair, Associate Vice Chancellor
Kristin Anderson, DFDM Project Manager
Cathy Weiss, UW System Representative
Sara Carstens, Mayo Clinic Health System
Gordy Howie, Mayo Clinic Health System
Tim Nelson, Mayo Clinic Health System
Grace Crickette, Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration
Troy Terhark, Director of Facilities
Renee Strehlau, Associate Director of Facilities and Sustainability Coordinator
Andrew Nord, Facilities Construction Project Manager
Craig Ernst, IT Manager of Client Support Services
Derek Gingerich, Associate Professor, Biology
Jamie Lyman-Gingerich, Associate Professor, Biology
Jenny Dahl, Associate Professor, Chemistry
Ezra Zeitler, Chair, Professor, Geography & Anthropology
Rob Lodge, Associate Professor, Geology
Jim Boulter, Professor, Public Health & Environmental Studies
Marc McEllistrem, Professor, Materials Science & Biomedical Engineering
Erik Hendrickson, Chair, Professor, Physics/Astronomy
Alex Smith, Chair, Professor, Computer Science
Meg Lagunas, Associate Professor, Director of Clinical Learning Center, Nursing
Doug Matthews, Professor, Psychology/Neuroscience
Sydney McGuine, Student Senate Rep.
Leah Woodward, Student Senate Rep.
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.