UWSP science building ground breaking set for May 5
The date for a ground breaking ceremony for the new chemistry-biology building at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) has been set for 11 a.m. Thursday, May 5, in Parking Lot X, ,the future site of the building.
The facility will be located along Fourth Avenue and adjacent to the current Science Building, which will continue to house other academic programs, the planetarium and observatory.
The total project bids are within budget. Miron Construction of Neenah is the apparent low general contractor. The general contractor bid includes mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection work.
The bids are positive news, said Carl Rasmussen, facilities planning director at UWSP.
“We’re working with UW System administrators and the Wisconsin Department of Administration and its Division of Facilities Development to determine what, if any, items cut from the original project can be returned to it,” he said.
The process of awarding the contract and securing needed signatures is under way and can take up to 90 days.
Work will begin as soon as the contract is finalized.
Construction of the new four-story building is expected to be completed by spring 2018. It is the first major, free-standing academic facility built on campus since 1971.
The 176,500-square-foot building will contain building will contain three 48-seat classrooms, two 24-seat classrooms, two 98-seat lecture halls and research and teaching labs for biology and chemistry on each floor. Flexible room configurations combined with modern technology will support hands-on learning and student research, hallmarks of a UWSP education.
Design work is being done by Potter Lawson, Inc., Madison; and HOK, St. Louis, Mo. It is being designed and built to meet sustainable LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards.
The State Building Commission approved $75 million in capital funding as part of the 2013-2015 biennium budget and granted authority to spend $75.18 million in April 2015. The additional $182,000, from UW-Stevens Point student fees and program revenue funds, will be used for a vegetative green roof on a portion of the building as well as a small café.
The $75 million in capital funding can only be used for this building. The capital budget is separate from the base state operations budget. Cuts proposed to the UW System budget for the 2015-17 biennium are not affected by the capital budget, nor can they be reduced by not constructing the science building.
The new building will put science on display, inviting students and the public to see and feel science education and research as it happens, said Chris Cirmo, dean of the College of Letters and Science.
“This building will become an activity hub for campus, highlighted by a tropical conservatory, collaborative student study spaces, an outdoor teaching amphitheater, coffee shop and specialized laboratories in molecular biology, human biology, botany, genetics, chemistry and biochemistry,” Cirmo said.