University of Wisconsin (UW) campuses across the state could be getting new buildings and needed renovations, after the State Building Commission approved more than $700 million in projects yesterday.
Governor Scott Walker has already recommended the projects. If they are approved by the state legislature, a portion of the UW building projects will be paid for with state tax dollars.
The commission approved new science buildings for UW-Stevens Point and UW-La Crosse. The chemistry department chair for UW-La Crosse, Aaron Monte, says the current facility is outdated. The new building will double the lab space and allow for more research.
"We can place people from the chemistry department near people in the microbiology department, or people from molecular biology near our biochemists. We can be much more efficient in sharing equipment and sharing ideas and reaching across the traditional disciplines to do collaborative research."
UW-Madison will get funding to help pay for new and expanded dairy and meat research facilities.
Other projects approved by the State Building Commission will be paid for through gifts and student or user fees.
Some UW dorms will be renovated, while the Whitewater and Eau Claire campuses will build new residence halls. UW-Eau Claire assistant chancellor for facilities and university relations Mike Rindo says campus housing is over capacity, with students living in study lounges and at local hotels. He says the new suite-style dorm will eliminate that issue.
With the approved funding, other campuses will build or renovate sports facilities, student unions, and welcome centers.