|MADISON – The State of Wisconsin Building Commission today met to approve several key projects across the state including a proposal to release $5 million to help fund construction of the Brown County STEM Innovation Center on the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Green Bay campus.
The three-story office and laboratory building will accommodate a new mechanical engineering program to meet the growing talent needs of manufacturers. Other tenants at the center will include the Einstein Project, a nonprofit organization that supports STEM education; UW-Extension Agriculture and Horticulture programs; and the Brown County Land and Water Conservation offices.
“There are more people working in our state than ever before, and initiatives like the Brown County STEM Innovation Center will help meet the ongoing need for well-trained and highly skilled talent in Northeast Wisconsin,” Governor Walker said. “I included $5 million for this project in the state’s capital budget to help strengthen our workforce, and I thank members of the Building Commission for today’s approval.”
The Commission today also approved designs for a $2 million reconstruction of the Eagle Tower observation structure at Peninsula State Park in Door County. The new, 60-foot public structure will offer full accessibility at all viewing levels by individuals with disabilities. The previous tower was built in 1923 and deconstructed in 2016 after being deemed structurally unsafe. The project will also include site work, restoration of the existing Civilian Conservation Corps stone wall, as well as new visitor kiosks, social media interaction, interpretive and educational components.
The project is being supported through funds raised by Friends of Peninsula State Park and the local community, along with state funds and a federal grant. Construction is set to begin in late 2018 with full completion targeted for June 2019.
“Eagle Tower at Peninsula State Park provided grand views of our state to generations of travelers to beautiful Door County, Wisconsin,” Governor Walker said. “I was pleased to work with the Building Commission and Legislature to enumerate the tower reconstruction, and I commend the Friends of Peninsula State Park and local partners for generating financial support to build a new observation structure that will be visited for generations to come.”
The Commission took action on other items, including but not limited to:
- Authority to construct the Northwest Quadrant Phase I exterior renovation project, which is the site of the former Columbia/St. Mary’s hospital complex. The UW-Milwaukee’s College of Health Sciences and College of Nursing will use the remodeled space.
- University of Wisconsin System infrastructure maintenance, repair, renovation, and upgrades to facilities at UW-Green Bay, UW-La Crosse, UW-Stevens Point, UW-River Falls and UW-Whitewater; and
- Other various maintenance and repair projects in nine counties across the state.
The Building Commission is chaired by Governor Walker and made up of the following members:
- State Senator Terry Moulton;
- State Senator Jerry Petrowski;
- State Senator Janis Ringhand;
- State Representative Rob Swearingen;
- State Representative Terry Katsma; and
- State Representative Jill Billings.