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Prairie Springs Science Center Completion Project

It all starts here.
Then, Wisconsin benefits.

Support the Prairie Springs Science Center Completion/Cowley Hall Demolition Project

The issue.

Completion of the Prairie Springs Science Center is critically needed now. Cowley Hall has worse learning spaces than almost all of the state’s high schools. The project provides 30 innovative science learning spaces for our quality faculty to mold in-demand Wisconsin STEM and health workers — helping Wisconsin’s economy grow.

Ryan Sands

Geography, environmental science concentration/Earth Science

"This should build networking with local employers and provide training on potential career fields for future students."

Learn more about Ryan Sands 

It’s the perfect prescription for success.

UWL’s faculty continue to earn state and national teaching awards. Let’s increase the capacity for educating Wisconsin’s brightest!

Emily Botten


"Today, I work with research that is critical to Wisconsin residents’ health and safety, and I could not be prouder to be doing so. Not only do I get to have a positive impact on the global pandemic, but also on issues that are hyper endemic to my community such as Blastomycosis and Lyme disease."

Learn more about Emily Botten 

Working to make Wisconsin work.

UWL continues to expand partnerships with state businesses and other UW campuses through the Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin. We’re also helping K-12 teachers get innovative, hands-on science experiences to inspire and prepare Wisconsin’s next generation!

Maureen Vorwald

Physical education/corporate fitness

"While at UW-La Crosse, I learned the importance of having a strong work ethic, good time management skills, and being a positive and clear communicator."

Learn more about Maureen Vorwald 

Partnerships back it up. Graduates provide workers statewide.

UWL students contribute to the state’s vast health economy with hundreds of internships and preceptorships.

Other science and health graduates are helping Wisconsin prosper. A few partners:

  • Advocate Aurora Health
  • American Family
  • Brennan
  • EPIC
  • Gundersen Health System
  • Kwik Trip
  • Marshfield Clinic
  • Mayo Clinic Health System
  • Northwestern Mutual
  • Trane

Carl Klubertanz

Recreation Management

"If you want a good experience with faculty that have those connections to those working within your field, I would take a look at what UWL has to offer."

Learn more about Carl Klubertanz 

Strong enrollment is answering the call.

UWL — one of only two UW System campuses with consistent growth in the past decade — continues to help the state meet demand for health and science majors. Our grads are helping to fill STEM workforce needs as Wisconsin science jobs grow a projected 37% this decade

Jenna DeShaney

Geography, environmental Science concentration

"UWL prepared me for the workforce by incorporating appropriate lessons, skills and technology to the classes."

Learn more about Jenna DeShaney 

We’ve heard the arguments against the building. Here are the facts.

“It’s just another office building.”

Wrong. The Prairie Springs Science Center Completion/Cowley Hall Demolition Project provides a range of instructional spaces — from 25 seats to 150 — designed for active learning and innovation. We need classrooms for group collaboration where tables or desks can move and not be, literally, bolted to the floor. Let’s get more STEM students trained now!

“It’s hard for universities to adjust to today’s business needs.”

Not so. UWL is working directly with regional business owners — like the new Memorandum of Understanding with J.F. Brennan. It’s getting student researchers on the Mississippi to shape their studies for Brennan and other businesses — keeping Wisconsin’s economy strong.

“The project lacks skin-in-the-game.”

Not true. There isn’t private money for bricks and mortar, but there is for student learning and research. More than $5 million in private funding has been given for innovation learning since the initial phase of the project opened. That’s just the start! The funds allow both students and faculty opportunities to conduct innovative science and health research to make Wisconsin better and more productive. 

Did you know?

UWL science grads stay in Wisconsin and support the state’s economy

Just under 87% of College of Science and Health 2010 and 2015 graduates reported to live in Wisconsin at least one year after graduation.

UWL College of Science and Health students graduate in an average of 4.1 years

This means they're getting out into Wisconsin’s workforce to address the state’s much-needed STEM and health workers.

Phase II promises to generate more private funding and partnerships

New classrooms and lab areas promise to inspire additional private research and experiential learning funding, along with additional partnerships to help local business prosper.

Strong support from community businesses

Among the supporting organizations

  • Gundersen Health System
  • Kwik Trip
  • La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Mayo Health System
  • 7Rivers Alliance
  • Xcel Energy

Regional organizations support the project.

Tim Kabat

La Crosse Area Development Corp. 

“Building Prairie Springs II will increase UWL’s capacity for educating top-flight science students. That means our region can better attract and retain businesses and industry in an increasingly science-based economy that includes all types of manufacturing, health care, and food production and processing.” 

LADCO is a member driven, non-profit corporation dedicated to facilitating and promoting industrial and economic development and small business startups in the greater La Crosse area. 

Neal Zygarlicke

CEO, La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce

“The La Crosse Chamber and its area businesses believe that funding the Prairie Springs Science Center II is crucial to growing the science-based economy of the La Crosse area and in helping our businesses and industries find the talented workers they need now and in the future. We strongly urge support for the Prairie Springs Science Center II at the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse.” 

The La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce is a member driven, non-profit dedicated to elevating and strengthening the business community to enhance the La Crosse area’s quality of life. 

Randal Newton

Vice President, Engineering, Trane Technologies 

On behalf of the Trane Technologies La Crosse team, we proudly support the proposal for the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse Prairie Springs Science Center expansion. We have a significant number of UW-La Crosse alumni, including myself, many with STEM degrees that play critical roles in our organization today. As a company and an industry, we need more graduates in STEM-related fields to help achieve our bold sustainability goals and to fill critical STEM workforce needs of the future.” 

Support was written on behalf of Trane Technologies La Crosse-area leaders.  

Chris Hardie

CEO, 7 Rivers Alliance

Graduates from UW-La Crosse fill desperately needed jobs — not only in our region but across the state. One of those job sectors is science, technology, engineering and mathematics — or STEM. We need graduates who approach problems from all contexts, using quantitative, collaborative, innovative, and logical analysis rooted in STEM….Prairie Springs Phase II is an investment that makes sense now and in the future. We urge you to give this project a top budget priority.” 

The 7 Rivers Alliance is a regional economic development organization in western Wisconsin. 

Dr. Paul Mueller

Regional Vice President, SWWI-MCHS-Franciscan Healthcare

“A fully completed Prairie Springs Science Center will create lasting benefits for our region and the state, through the students and faculty it will attract, the education and research it will house and the graduates who will go on to provide much-needed talent for Wisconsin employers like Mayo Clinic Health System. 

Heather Schimmers

Gundersen Region President, Bellin and Gundersen Health System

“A modern science building will attract students to UWL who are interested in the science and medical fields, and it will ensure the strong position of the university in an increasingly important healthcare workforce pipeline in our region. 

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