State Building Commission gives UW-River Falls authority to construct SciTech

Approval moves science project dream another step closer to reality

August 9, 2022 -The University of Wisconsin-River Falls Science and Technology Innovation Center (SciTech) project received a critical green light Tuesday when the Wisconsin State Building Commission (SBC) voted to authorize construction. The unanimous vote moves the $116.7 million project one step closer to reality. 

SciTech rendering“This project will be transformational, not only for our campus but for our region,” said UWRF Chancellor Maria Gallo, who spoke to the Higher Education Subcommittee of the SBC. “SciTech will give our students access to amazing opportunities while also enhancing collaboration with business and industry in a way that will directly contribute to the economic development of western Wisconsin.”

The SciTech building will house departments including biology, chemistry, physics, and psychological sciences and their related academic programs, including pre-engineering, biotechnology and neuroscience. The project will also create space to support meaningful collaborations with local and regional business partners in STEM fields and beyond. 

UWRF produces the third highest percentage of STEM graduates in the UW System and nearly 60% of UWRF students will take a class in SciTech, including students from in-demand programs like environmental engineering, agricultural science, international food operations management, animal science, crop and soil science and dairy science. The building will feature flexible undergraduate instructional laboratory suites, active learning studios, undergraduate and faculty research spaces and shared interdisciplinary space. SciTech will have 32 undergraduate research spaces and 12 instructional labs.

The project will also enhance and grow partnerships with businesses and industries through collaborative programming, internships and innovative product development via the University Business Collaboration Center (UBC2). The UBC2 will actively engage business and community partners in discovery, innovation and talent development at UWRF, offering students increased internship, research and career opportunities while providing employers facilitated access to student talent and faculty and staff expertise.

“Students will benefit through engagement in active-learning spaces designed for the 21st century,” explained Gallo. “Our industry partners are committed to this project because of its unique UBC2 which will increase student learning opportunities and enhance discovery, innovation and talent development by bringing university and business resources together in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields and beyond.”

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2023 and be completed by late 2025. Classes are slated to start in the new building beginning January 2026.

The state of Wisconsin has funded $111.73 million for the project. The university is working with alumni and corporate donors to raise the remaining $5 million and is already nearly halfway to that goal. 

To learn more about SciTech or provide financial support, visit


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