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UWFox Hosts Groundbreaking Ceremony for New Communications Arts Center

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The University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley is hosting a groundbreaking ceremony for its new Communication Arts Center (CAC) at mid-day today in the campus Fieldhouse. Miron Construction Co., Inc. of Neenah is the general contractor for the CAC, which is expected to be ready to use for the fall semester 2009.CAC Groundbreaking

A number of campus and community leaders provided brief comments to the invitation-only audience prior to the ceremonial “turning of the dirt” by the project’s leaders. Speakers included Dr. Jim Perry, UWFox CEO/Dean; Dr. David Wilson, Chancellor of the UW Colleges and UW-Extension; Lisa Weiner, Executive Director of the UW-Fox Valley Foundation; Mark Harris, Winnebago County Executive; Dr. Richard Gosse, Outagamie County Supervisor and UWFox Trustee; Dave Albrecht, Chair of the Winnebago County Supervisors; and Michael Van Vonderen, UWFox  Student Association President.

Dr. James PerryPerry said, “If I were to attempt to start thanking people by name I would be up all night, and I would fear missing someone because there is just an enormous number of people that made the effort that resulted in the bringing us to where we are today. It’s a wonderful coincidence that in this, UWFox’s 75th anniversary year, we’re breaking ground on a modern, accessible, multipurpose auditorium. In addition to public drama and musical performances, the space will be in continuous use for student orientation, registration, parent information sessions, as well as large group meetings and lectures.”

“The Communication Arts Center is going to make a big difference in student learning at UWFox,” said Wilson. “It will also be a community focal point, attracting people locally and from surrounding areas for cultural events throughout the year. This campus is truly a place where new and enhanced opportunities for student learning continue to be attained. It is a place where area residents can fulfill their dreams of pursuing a quality higher education, and with this new center, they can enrich their lives through life-long learning, public lectures, musical and dramatic performances, and much more.”

The CAC is designed to be built with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), which provides a suite of standards for environmentally sustainable construction. Site design and utilization, heat recovery units, efficient motors and lights, as well as many other energy saving adaptations, are included in the design of the new CAC building so that it’s energy efficient and resource conservative.Lisa Weiner - Foundation Director

Noting the campus’ investment in time and money toward meeting the needs of the present without diminishing the ability of future generations to meet their needs, Van Vonderen said, “A conscious effort has been made to build and operate this new addition to our great campus in the most environmentally responsible way we can. Students and community leaders will come to see how this facility was built and realize that sustainable architecture makes perfect sense when building their homes and businesses. My hope is that the CAC will be a symbol of the community leadership that this campus has shown, and will continue to show.”

Winnebago County and Outagamie County, who jointly own the campus property and building, have each approved $5.3 million (totaling $10.6 million) toward the construction of the CAC, with the State of Wisconsin providing up to $1.345 million for equipment to use in the new facility.

The UW-Fox Valley Foundation has pledged to raise $2 million dollars to support the project, with the fundraising campaign led by Foundation Board members Tod Galloway and Steve Seifert.

“The groundbreaking ceremony is the culmination of a 30-year old dream, to get the CAC built,” Weiner said.  “Our students and faculty will finally have a safe and accessible facility – one that will serve them and the community well for years to come.”

With more than 1,700 students, UWFox is the second largest of the 13 campuses that comprise the UW Colleges as part of the UW System. Updated information about the fundraising progress and construction of the CAC can be found at http://www.uwfox.uwc.edu/aboutfox/cac/.

Posted 03/31/2008