Republican lawmakers tour aging UW-Eau Claire science building

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Eau Claire (WQOW) – UW-Eau Claire officials are continuing their push to get funding to replace the science building. Now, they’re including republican lawmakers in that effort.

Tuesday, officials at UW-Eau Claire showed local republican representatives around Phillips Hall to show them just how run-down the 60-year old building is.

UW-Eau Claire Assistant Chancellor for Facilities and University Relations Mike Rindo said it costs more than $530,000 to operate per year, and they need the state aid to build a new science hall.

“Republican support is going to be essential because the republicans control the majority in the senate and in the assembly,” Rindo said. “This is really an opportunity for republicans and democrats to work together and they’ve demonstrated that in bringing people here and making the case for why this is an important project to be looked at in terms of the priorities in the state of Wisconsin.”

Rindo said it would cost $256 million to replace the science building. They’re asking for $109 million in the 2019-21 state budget, and another $147 million two years later.

The large amount of money needed to replace the science building is a concern to republicans.

“That’s one of the big concerns that my colleagues have and myself too,” said Republican State Representative Rob Summerfield. “How do you figure out in the list of priorities how we make sure that this is one of the top needs for the state.”

Summerfield agrees the building needs replacing.

UW-Eau Claire officials believe a new modern science building will recruit more out-of-state students, and the research agreement with Mayo Clinic Health System would be a great opportunity for students and the community.

Shannon Satterlee

Shannon Satterlee

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