Regents OK New UWEC Visitor Center Design
The UW System Board of Regents has authorized UW-Eau Claire to take next steps on a new construction project and approved a new name for UW-Barron County that is set to take effect July 1 when the two-year college is integrated with UW-Eau Claire. The regents approved UW-Eau Claire’s design report for a new Visitor and Admissions Center, making way for design completion and construction of the facility. The $5.5 million project will be paid for entirely with private funds. The two-story, 16,267-square-foot Visitor and Admissions Center will house UW-Eau Claire’s admissions office as well as the UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association and UW-Eau Claire Foundation operations. It will be built on university land along Roosevelt Avenue on the sites of an existing visitor kiosk and three previously razed homes. Construction of the building is expected to begin in 2019, with an anticipated opening in 2020. Because the Visitor and Admissions Center will be privately funded and built on university land, planning and construction management for the project is being administered by the UW System. The UW System selected Eau Claire-based architectural/engineering firm Ayres Associates for the project through a competitive process. The regents also approved the renaming of UW-Barron County as University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire – Barron County, which will take effect July 1 when the two-year college is integrated with UW-Eau Claire. The integration is part of a UW System-wide restructuring through which all UW System two-year colleges are integrating with four-year universities across the state. The renaming is pending approval of the restructuring plan by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, which is the accrediting body for all UW System schools.