La Crosse, WISCONSIN (WXOW) – A committee of the UW System Board of Regents will vote on whether to approve the design and construction of UW-La Crosse's new student center during a meeting Thursday in Madison. The full board is expected to give final approval Friday. No taxpayer dollars will be used to fund the estimated $53.3 million building, which will be entirely funded by student fees.
In April 2012 UW-L students voted to build a new facility rather than repair Cartwright Center, the current student union, which opened in 1958 with additions in 1964 and 1985.
If approved, construction would start in July 2014 on the parking lot east of Wimberly Hall, across the street from the Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex. The building is anticipated to open in July 2016.
The new student center would be a three-story, 204,787 gross-square-foot building. The edifice is designed to emulate Grandad Bluff and the main floor would mimic the convergence of the three rivers in La Crosse with three main entrances converging upon an information desk and central gathering place.
The interior space will house the university bookstore, food service venues, a coffee house, entertainment café, study areas, lounges, student organization meeting rooms, student senate chambers, a large multipurpose room with performance area, dining areas, indoor and outdoor recreation areas, admissions offices and more.
The building will incorporate a sustainable design strategy with the goal of achieving Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold Certification. Two UW-L buildings, Centennial Hall and Eagle Hall, which opened in 2011, have already received LEED® Gold certification.
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