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UWFox Theatre Construction Project FAQ

[This page is preserved for historical and reference purposes only.  The information contained on it may no longer be current.]

UW-Fox Theatre Construction Project "Frequently Asked Questions"

What is Winnebago County's role with UW-Fox Valley?

  • What are the funding sources for UW-Fox Valley?
    • Facilities (bricks and mortar): Outagamie and Winnebago Counties
    • Building maintenance materials: Outagamie and Winnebago Counties
    • Moveable equipment (chairs, desks, computers, e.g.): State of Wisconsin
    • Personnel: State of Wisconsin
    • Annual counties’ budget: $203,611 (Winnebago County share: $101,805)
    • Annual State budget: $3,152,712
  •  Why do the counties pay for this particular UW campus?
    • By agreement with the University of Wisconsin System, the local municipalities own the facilities of the 13 two-year campuses of the UW Colleges
    • This is authorized by State Statute 66.51(1)(a)

What are the student demographics of UW-Fox Valley?

  • How many students are enrolled?
    • During academic year 1999-2000, 2899 students (plus about 400 students in the summer)
    • UW-Fox Valley is the second largest UW Colleges campus (second to UW-Waukesha)
  • From where do the UW-Fox Valley students come?
    • From throughout Wisconsin, with the large majority from northeastern Wisconsin
    • A small number of out-of-state and foreign students
  • How many students come from Winnebago County?
    • During academic year 1999-2000, 803 students
    • This is 95% of all Winnebago County students attending a UW Colleges campus
    • This is 28% of the UW-Valley students
  • How many students come from Outagamie and Calumet Counties?
    • During academic year 1999-2000, 1493 (Outagamie; 52%) and 249 (Calumet; 9%) students
  • Why should Winnebago County pay the same as Outagamie County, when more students come from Outagamie County?
    • Outagamie and Winnebago Counties agreed to share equally in their funding of the campus
  • Why doesn't Calumet County - or other counties that send students to UW-Fox Valley, for that matter - make a financial contribution to UW-Fox Valley?
    • The agreement to place a UW Colleges campus in Winnebago County did not include Calumet County

Why should a two-year campus like UW-Fox Valley have a theatre 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 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 theatre facilities?

  • What use is made of the existing theatre?
    • Theatre classes – acting, stage management, lighting, stage design, costuming, makeup, theatre management
    • Campus drama productions - 3-4 per year
    • Campus music
      • Band concerts (four concert band per year + two jazz band)
      • Choral performances (two per year)
    • Lectures – variable number each year
    • Public Forums – variable number per year
    • Outside theatrical groups - Attic Theatre, Friends of Riverside, Big Valley Productions, Valley Theatre, Light Theatre, American Folklore Theatre, Mainstage Productions
    • Outside community groups
      • Candidate forums/debates; League of Women Voters; Fox Valley India Association
      • Neenah-Menasha YMCA
  • How many UW-Fox Valley students presently use the existing theatre?
    • 199 students enrolled in theatre arts, concert band, and choral courses in Spring 2000 and Fall 2000 (the number could increase slightly as registration is continuing) plus student audiences
  • How busy is the existing theatre?
    • In Spring 2000, the theatre was being used on 85% of the days available from January through May.
  • What's wrong with the existing theatre?
    • American Disabilities Act problems
      • o No access to control booth (lighting and sound control), dressing rooms, makeup rooms, costume storage
      • o No access to the stage
    • OSHA deficiencies
      • PCB-filled electronic equipment
      • No acceptable and safe means for getting heavy equipment on the stage
      • HVAC equipment is out of date – does not comply with current requirements
    • Programmatic deficiencies
      • Inadequate wing space (area to side of stage that holds actors waiting to come on scene)
      • No fly space (area above stage where scenery and curtains reside)
      • Lighting controls are obsolete; manufacturer no longer in business
      • Stage is too small for our musical performances
      • Cinderblock construction – hard surface causes acoustical problems
      • Seating is on folding chairs on plywood risers, not theatre seats
      • No orchestra pit
      • No office for theatre manager
  • Why can't UW-Fox Valley use other theatre facilities in the community: high schools, community theatres, etc.?
    • While theatre classes have a set meeting schedule, theatre 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
    • Outside space is not available when we need it
  • What's the urgency about getting the theatre started when you ask? What's critical about the timing that you've outlined?
    • We have been planning for several years, beginning with the assumption in 1998 that we would be constructing a new theatre
    • The State’s contribution to the project (about $1 million) is in the plans for the 2003-2005 biennium

What's the history of this project?

  • The project has been in the campus Master Plan since in 1989
  • The project was in the Winnebago County CIP in 1998
  • The project was removed from the CIP in 1999
  • The project is in the UW System’s long range capital equipment plan for 2003-2005

What's the cost of a new or renovated theater for UW-Fox Valley?

  • How much will this project cost the Winnebago County taxpayers?
    • Estimates for a 400 seat theatre based on a cost/square foot = $3.5 million
  • How will you determine the cost?
    • We would like to hire an engineering firm to determine:
      • o Options (renovation or replacement) for resolving of the deficiencies
      • o The cost of the options
  • What will this financial cost mean to the taxpayers of Winnebago County?
    • According to Winnebago County Finance Director, $0.02 per $1000 of assessed evaluation, based upon the cost estimate
    • Over ten-year bond period, the total would be $20.00 per household
  • How much will the requested engineering study cost?
    • $50,000 based upon a recent engineering study for the science wing for the campus ($25,000 per county)
  • What will this engineering study provide?
    • Reviews existing conditions
    • Objectively identify deficiencies
    • Identify alternate solutions to resolve deficiencies
    • Provide cost projections for the solutions
  • Who will be involved in the study?
    • Campus faculty and staff
    • County personnel (supervisors and/or facilities managers)
  • How much money is the UW System going to provide for the project (either the engineering study, or the construction / renovation of the theatre)?
    • $974,000 to equip the theatre (“Moveable equipment”)
  • How does this theatre project tie into current and future Winnebago County construction projects?
    • If built in 2004, property owners would be assessed $1.45 instead of $1.43 per $1000 of valuation (source: County Executive’s Capital Improvement Plan, July 20, 2000)
  • If "we" wait to appropriate funds until some future date, what will the cost of future dollars (2005-2006-2007-2008, etc.) be vs. 2004 dollars?
    • Inflation is running at about 3.5% per year

Posted 9/28/2000