Posted 10:07 a.m. Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Reason No. 1: It's time to put politics aside.  

Former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson says people can run as Democrats or Republicans, but, once elected, they should work together and belong to the “Wisconsin party.” That party is in the process of building new buildings, creating new opportunities, building the state's economy and diminishing the worker shortage. Building a new science building on the UWL campus is a good choice, he says.  

Reason No. 2: Campus needs to get ahead of the time.  

Dan Kapanke, a former Republican Wisconsin state senator, says businesses must constantly evolve to avoid becoming stagnant. Similarly, the university must grow and change to be able to move forward. Prairie Springs Science Center Phase II would replace Cowley Hall, a 1960s era facility. 

Reason No. 3: Now's the time to invest in tomorrow's employees and leaders. 

Former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson says the university is investing in students who will become leaders of tomorrow. The proposed phase II of the Prairie Springs Science Center will provide a space to train “fantastic students” who will help fill a shortage of workers in the state, says Thompson.  

Reason No. 4: Campus needs to attract the brightest to Western Wisconsin.  

If the university becomes stagnant, it can't attract the brightest and best to the UW-La Crosse campus to stay in the community and in Wisconsin, says La Crosse business leader Dan Kapanke.  

Reason No. 5: Because a classroom out of the 1960s doesn't cut it anymore.  

Without a better facility, how will the university draw students nationally and internationally, asks La Crosse business leader Don Weber. Some local students will stay, he says, but many will venture out. The university must be able to attract students as well. 

Reason No. 6: It's time to support the university and its students.  

La Crosse business leader Don Weber asks where the community would be if it didn't have the university. He says business leaders need to get behind the system and support this project, giving students opportunities to grow.  

Reason No. 7: It's vital for the university's future.  

La Crosse business leader Don Weber asks where UW-La Crosse would be if we hadn't constructed some of the facilities that have been built in the last 20-30 years, indicating that buildings help prepare a university for the future.  

Reason No. 8: UWL students make a big difference for Wisconsin businesses.  

La Crosse business leader Dan Kapanke says interns from UW-La Crosse have helped his business over the last 20 years. "We help them, and they help us," he says. "It has been immeasurable, the success we have had with interns from the university."

Reason No. 9: UWL is the key to prosperity.  

La Crosse business leader Don Weber says, without the university, we wouldn't be the region that we are.

Reason No. 10: Build it now or pay more later.  

Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompon says there will never be a better time to construct a building than when interest rates are at 2 %. "I want people to realize that now is the time to build that building," he says. Waiting means that materials are going to cost more. “And if interest rates go up, you're going to say, ‘I made a terrible mistake.’”  


About the Prairie Springs Science Center project

The Prairie Springs Science Center project was divided into two construction phases for an eventual replacement of Cowley Hall, a 1960s-era science facility. Phase I, directly north of the current Cowley Hall, was completed in summer 2018. Phase II would construct a new facility connected to Phase I, in the location of the current Cowley Hall. Phase II will include offices, classrooms, instructional labs, research labs, and a number of highly-specialized spaces critical to the overall delivery of science instruction and learning at UWL.