Education Village Project gets historic schoolhouse
By Madeline Sky, Daybreak Meteorologist - bio | email
WINONA, Minn. (WXOW) – Last week, a 150 year-old, one-room schoolhouse made a new home on the Winona State University Campus.
“The schoolhouse is really a harkening back to Winona State’s roots,” said Andrea Mikklesen, Director of Public Information at Winona State University. “We were the first teacher preparation institution established west of the Mississippi River, so having a one-room schoolhouse really just touches back to where we came from and who we are.”
Right now the schoolhouse is camping out in a parking lot in Winona State’s West Campus, but later on it will be integrated in WSU’s new “Education Village.” The intent of the Education Village is to bring Winona State University back to its roots as a teacher preparation school by providing state of the art facilities to future educators.
“We have this long history of being excellent at preparing teachers,” said Jan Sherman, Interim Dean of the College of Education at Winona State University. “And we feel as though it’s the time that we need to update our facilities, and the way that we are preparing teachers.”
The project will cost a total of $22.8 million dollars and includes renovating three historical buildings; Cathedral School, Wabasha Hall, and the Wabasha Recreation Center. So far the University has received $5.8 million dollars of state money to start the planning.
“I think part of the interesting piece of incorporating the schoolhouse is that the entire project is renovation,” said Mikklesen. “The aesthetic we’re achieving is to use facilities that are already in existence that have historic education purposes and repurpose them for education in the 21st century.”
After the Education Village is completed, WSU’s College of Education is also going to be revamped to take full advantage of the new facilities.
Mikklesen says means more interaction with the community, more time spent working with children in a classroom setting, and more overall hands-on experience for future teachers.
“In former programming, students really only got that hands on experience later on in their educational career,” said Mikklesen. “And so our intent right now is to make sure they get that hands on, in the classroom experience early on… So that they can determine this is really the thing for me. This is my calling, this is my career.”
Right now the Education Village is still in its planning stage, but Sherman says the vision is certain. And it all comes back to idea of that on-room schoolhouse.
“Using the past to build the future,” said Sherman.
Groundbreaking for the Education Village is expected in spring of 2016.
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