Eau Claire (WQOW) - Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Sonnentag Centre project will not break ground this summer as planned.
“We are so grateful for the Sonnentags and our wonderful partners who all agree this project is worth the wait,” said Kimera Way, president of Eau Claire Community Complex. “We want to do our best to attain the full vision of the project because of its tremendous potential for our partners and the community.”
Because of the decision to postpone the project, so will necessary approvals. That includes a UWEC student referendum scheduled for this spring. According to UW-Eau Claire student body president Charles Johnson, because the university is conducting classes exclusively online for the remainder of the spring semester, a student referendum this spring was not feasible.
"A key aspect of the education campaign about the Sonnentag Centre is face-to-face interactions with the student body,” Johnson said. “Providing students with opportunities to learn how this project will positively impact them is vital to the referendum process.”
While the project is suspended, there will be some necessary demolition and earthwork done on the Sonnentag Centre site in the coming weeks, Way said.
Back in December the YMCA announced it would not longer be part of the complex.
Back in December, Way and YMCA Executive Director Theresa Hillis said they dropped out of the project because the YMCA had said construction could not begin until fundraising for the YMCA's portion of the project was nearly complete.
Hillis told News 18 the project's timeline was unworkable for the YMCA as they were significantly short on funds needed to be part of the Sonnentag Complex.
She said as a non-profit they cannot take on debt.