GOP Neglect UW-La Crosse Student Success & Safety
LA CROSSE – Republican lawmakers on the Joint Finance Committee rejected portions of Governor Tony Evers’ state building program, including Phase II of the Prairie Springs Science Center and fire alarm and smoke detection renovations in two dormitories at UW-La Crosse. This decision prevents UW-L from moving forward with shovel-ready infrastructure projects and jeopardizes public safety.
“We need modern academic facilities to make UW-La Crosse an attractive choice for both faculty and students, and ensure we can stay competitive with other Midwestern universities,” said Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “It is foolish for Republicans to delay projects, reject good paying jobs, and put student safety at risk. The investments we make today in our campuses that train the workforce of tomorrow will result in better economic outcomes for future generations. It is disappointing for our campus, our students and our community that Republican lawmakers are singling out UW-L with massive cuts rather than invest in the economic success of our state.”
Had they been approved, the renovations for Coate and Sanford Dormitories were estimated to generate $29.2 million in economic activity and create 270 jobs. The construction of Phase II of the Prairie Springs Science Center were estimated to generate $159 million in economic activity and create 1,400 jobs in the region. The current Science Building that would have been replaced with Phase II was built in 1963 and has become functionally obsolete and unsuitable to modern educational needs. The Republican decision to delay these projects will result in higher costs as construction costs are expected to increase 4% every year due to inflation.