Eau Claire (WQOW) — The nearly 60 year old L.E. Phillips Science Hall on the UWEC campus is set to be replaced, with hopes of bringing a better learning environments to both students and staff.
Overall, the project is projected to cost nearly $250 million, with money coming from private investments and the University budgets. University officials told News 18 the cost of renovating Phillips Hall would be nearly as much as building a new one, and the current building would still not be up to par.
Chancellor James Schmidt said when Phillips was first designed, UW-Eau Claire had around 1,000 students. Now, over 11,000 are enrolled, making it a heavily used building that’s under-serving the community.
“Frankly, in order to attract the faculty we need to have to continue to perform at high levels, and attract the students from all over, the country to come to this institution, we need to have the proper facilities that are functional, that are safe and we have the room to have those folks,” said Schmidt.
If everything goes as planned, shovels are expected to hit dirt in spring of 2021. Chancellor Schmidt also said the new science hall will be built where the current lower campus residence halls (Katherine Thomas and Putman) are located, and Phillips will remain open until construction is complete.