UW Board of Regents signal support for $237.4 million in campus projects
Completion of the Prairie Springs Science Center classroom building is among five UW-La Crosse projects totaling $237.4 million approved by UW System Regents for the 2023-25 biennium.
The five UWL projects given the initial go-ahead in the UW System 2023-25 budget include:
• Prairie Springs Science Center Completion Project-Cowley Hall Demolition, $186,919,000 • Center for the Arts Parking Ramp & Police Building Addition, $34,068,000 • Graff Main Hall and Mitchell Hall Maintenance & Repairs, $6,962,000 • East Chiller Plant, $6,904,000 • Wing Technology Center Computer Science Lab Renovation, $2,533,000
The Regents included the major projects in the System’s capital budget unanimously approved by the board at its meeting at UW-Green Bay Aug. 18 and 19. They identified Prairie Springs as the No. 2 large capital project in the entire UW System.
“The second phase of the Prairie Springs Science Center is critical for our campus as we work to build the STEM workforce for western Wisconsin and the rest of the state,” says UWL Chancellor Joe Gow.
Area business leaders say the second phase is key for regional growth.
“Building Prairie Springs II will increase UWL’s capacity for educating top-flight science students,” says Tim Kabat, La Crosse Area Development Corp. “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.”
All the projects included in the budget position UWL to continue providing high-quality education for students who can address state workforce shortages, says Vice Chancellor for Administration & Finance Bob Hetzel. This initial approval is an important step for the projects to be included in the actual state budget, he notes.
The UWL projects were among the Board’s $2.5 billion capital budget recommendation, which is based upon strategic priorities that emphasize the continued modernization, replacement and repair of the existing infrastructure, while focusing on STEM and health sciences and the removal of obsolete structures.