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Communication Arts Center FAQ's

Where does the funding come from to support UW-Fox Valley?

Funding Source For What? How Much (This Year)?
Winnebago County Building Upkeep $139,242
Outagamie County Building Upkeep $139,242
State of Wisconsin Personel, Classroom Supplies $7.873 Million
  • When major building prodjects take place?
    • Winnebago and Outagamie Counties share equally in the cost.
    • The State of Wisconsin then provides moveable equipment (desks, chairs, media, computers, etc.)

What are the student demographics of UW-Fox Valley?

  • During academic year 2005-06, 3264 students enrolled (plus about 400 students in the summer)
  • UW-Fox Valley is the second largest UW Colleges campus (second to UW-Waukesha)
  • 77% of the students come from Winnebago and Outagamie County, 9% from Calumet and the rest from 26 other Wisconsin Counties, 1 out of state and no foreign students

Why should a two-year campus like UW-Fox Valley have a communication and theatre arts program?

  • Theatre is part of the general education, liberal arts curriculum present at all UW two-year and four-year campuses
  • Students who will transfer to four-year campuses enroll in freshman/sophomore Communication Arts and theatre courses, just like they enroll in freshman/sophomore courses in business or biology, regardless of their intended academic major

Why is there a need to improve the current facilities?

  1. How are the current facilities used?
    • Introduction to Higher Education Classes
    • Scholars Series Lectures – Every other Monday
    • Campus Activities Board events (student sponsored presentation such as Gaelic Storm)
    • Public Forums – variable number per year
    • Drama classes – acting, stage management, lighting, stage design, costuming, makeup, theatre management
    • Campus drama productions - 3-4 per year, presenting 15-20 performances
    • Campus music
      • Band concerts (four concert band per year + two jazz band)
      • Choral performances (two per year)
    • Outside community groups, such as Candidate forums/debates; League of Women Voters
    • Outside stage groups - Attic Theatre, Friends of Riverside, KidStage
    • Outside groups make up less than 7% of auditorium use
  2. How many UW-Fox Valley students presently use the existing auditorium facilities for classes?
    • 620. In addition students attend Scholars Series and other events in the auditorium.
  3. How busy is the existing auditorium?
    • 3 year average: used 81% of our semester days per year, with about 170 separate event

What's wrong with the existing auditorium?

  • American with Disabilities Act Issues
    • These areas do not meet ADA requirements-- lighting and sound control booth, dressing rooms, makeup rooms, costume storage, stage; box office
  • Health and Safety Concerns
    • PCB-filled electronic equipment
    • No acceptable and safe means for getting heavy items (e.g. piano) on the stage
    • HVAC equipment is out of date – does not comply with current building code
    • Inadequate fire protection
    • Asbestos present
    • Riser railings fail lateral force codes placing audience members at risk of falling
  • Programmatic deficiencies
    • Inadequate wing space (area on side of stage used for actor entrances/exits)
    • No fly space (area above stage where scenery and curtains reside)
    • Stage is too small for our musical performances
    • Cinderblock construction – hard surface causes acoustical problems
    • Seating is on folding chairs on plywood risers, not permanent seats

Why can't UW-Fox Valley use other auditorium facilities in the community?

  • This is an academic facility in which classes are held, not a simple performance space
  • While classes have a set meeting schedule, class work goes on between classes and in the evening
  • Students are taking other classes; they could not effectively participate in other classes if they had to run to off-site locations to rehearse, do set construction; etc.
  • We don’t have funds in our operating budget to rent additional space; payment for rental of other facilities/space would come from county funds
  • Outside space is not available when we need it

What's the history of this project?

  • The need was first documented in 1977
  • The project has been in the campus Master Plan since in 1989
  • The project was in the Winnebago County Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) in 1998
  • The project was removed from the Capital Improvement Plan in 1999
  • The project is at the top of the current (2006-2010) Winnebago County CIP
  • The project is in the UW System’s capital equipment plan for 2007-2009

What's the cost of a new Communication Arts Center with a 361 seat auditorium (2007 dollars)?

Winnebago County Outagamie County State of Wisconsin UW Foundation TOTAL
$5.3 million $5.3 million $1.345 million $2 million $13.9 million**
Bricks & mortar Bricks & mortar Moveable equipment Bricks & mortar  
$0.0619/yr/$1,000 assessed evaluation* (10 yr. bond) $0.0347/yr/$1,000 assessed evaluation* (20 yr. bond)      

Why do this project now and not wait?

  • The consultants estimate inflation will raise costs about $1 million per year

*This is the cost per county household, using data provided by the County Finance Directors
**The counties hired Short Elliot Hendrickson, Inc., who completed the assessment and cost study with consultations from local construction firms who have experience with auditorium construction.

Contact Dean Perry