UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
June 8, 2021 - On behalf of UW-River Falls, I am pleased to express my gratitude for the outcome of today’s vote by the Joint Committee on Finance to include $111.73M in state funding towards the $116.73M UW-River Falls Science and Technology Innovation Center (SciTech) project in the state’s 2021-23 capital budget.
Today’s commitment will allow UWRF to move forward with plans to replace its terribly outdated science facilities and offer a unique university/business collaboration hub that will benefit our students and local employers alike. We will actively be exploring options regarding the additional $5M in gifts and grants required for the project, having already benefited from a $1M challenge gift from UWRF alumni entrepreneurs Jeff and Kristi Cernohous.
We thank in particular Representative Shannon Zimmerman from River Falls who has been an important advocate for this project in the legislature and in his role on the Joint Finance Committee. We know that he understands the value of the project to our campus and to Western Wisconsin and he has once again upheld his commitment to communicating to his colleagues the important role that our thriving region plays in the state.
We are also thankful for the commitment of the Joint Committee on Finance to invest in several UW System projects especially which address the renovation, remodeling and replacement of outdated and unsafe facilities.
This investment in UW-River Falls and in the UW System is an expression of confidence in the role our university plays in the future of the state. We look forward to continuing to work with our legislators and the Governor’s Office as the biennial budget makes its way forward in the state process. --Interim Chancellor Connie Foster
About the Science and Technology Innovation Center
The proposed SciTech project will house the departments of biology, chemistry, physics, and psychological sciences, providing modern laboratory spaces for instruction and undergraduate research to meet industry demands in STEM fields. SciTech will also include a university-business collaboration hub to support internships and incubation of joint research projects. The facility will play a vital role in supporting economic growth in Western Wisconsin by fostering collaboration between faculty, students and regional businesses.
SciTech is as essential to our students’ future success as it is to our region’s economy. Business and industry leaders as well as economic development and chamber of commerce leaders have all expressed their overwhelming support for this project, as have our students, faculty and staff. SciTech will allow UW-River Falls to increase undergraduate research opportunities, hands-on learning and development of critical career opportunities for our students while meeting industry demand in Wisconsin’s high growth industries.