The University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan announced today that the campus will break ground on an estimated $1.4 million engineering building on the UW-Sheboygan campus this summer.
The new 7,000+-square-foot building will provide classroom and lab space for students participating in the University of Wisconsin-Platteville onsite collaborative degree program in Engineering, as well as for UW-Sheboygan pre-engineering students.
The University of Wisconsin-Platteville in collaboration with UW-Sheboygan offers local students the opportunity to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering (Mechanical and Electrical) from their accredited high-quality program right here in Sheboygan.
Local students access live instruction on the UW-Sheboygan campus with UW-Platteville engineering professors. Lab work is currently being completed in a temporary lab on the campus or by commuting to UW-Fox Valley Valley, a nearby UW College campus also participating in this degree partnership. The new building will provide a state-of-the-art lab environment for students studying mechanical and electrical engineering.
In addition to the labs, the new facility will feature several new offices for engineering faculty and program academic advisers and a study area. Labs will offer hands-on learning in mechanical and electrical engineering.
The engineering building is a reality due to the generosity of the Sheboygan County Board of Supervisors and donors Plastics Engineering Company (PLENCO), the Frank G. and Frieda K. Brotz Family Foundation and Curt G. Joa, Inc. The UW-Sheboygan Foundation spearheaded a major fundraising campaign to secure the private donations needed to help construct the building.
“Partnerships have been the key to offering expanded educational opportunities to our residents,” said Steve Harrison, UW-Sheboygan Foundation board member and Capital Campaign Committee member. “UW-Sheboygan has a three-way partnership that includes the UW System that supports classroom equipment and instruction, Sheboygan County’s funding and ownership of the buildings and grounds, and the private sector that provides the additional support that helps alleviate the burden on our local taxpayers with projects like this.”
The UW-Sheboygan Foundation played a critical role in securing private sector support for the ACUITY Technology Center and the Frank G. and Frieda K. Brotz Science Building through two previous capital campaigns. Major donations from ACUITY and the ACUITY Foundation supported construction of the ACUITY Technology Center in 2007, and a naming rights donation from the Frank G. and Frieda K. Brotz Family Foundation supported construction of the Frank G. and Frieda K. Brotz Science Building in 2004.
It is donors like the Brotz Foundation, Plastics Engineering Company and Curt G. Joa that make new facilities at UW-Sheboygan possible, and those gifts impact students and local economic development for years to come, Harrison added.
“Donors like these have deep ties to Sheboygan,” Harrison said. “They give back to our community in countless ways. They all should be commended for their belief in making Sheboygan County a better place to live, work and play.”
The Sheboygan County Board of Supervisors has showed strong support for the UW-Sheboygan campus and local higher education with the construction of two major buildings in the last 10 years on the UW-Sheboygan campus, in addition to the remodeling of many classroom and office spaces.
“The University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan is a valuable resource for the Sheboygan County community,” said Roger Te Stroete, Sheboygan County Board Chairman. “Constructing this new building will help our local employers attract, train and hire engineers. The ability to educate students locally is a benefit to Sheboygan County residents and for economic development.”
Sheboygan County Administrator Adam Payne added, “Collaboration is key to success. UW-Sheboygan is a great example of what can happen when people work together to help make good things happen.”
According to Dr. Jacquelyn Joseph-Silverstein, UW-Sheboygan Dean and CEO, the generosity shown by Sheboygan County and the project’s donors will create a home for the engineering program that will attract students and expand the pipeline of engineers for Sheboygan County employers.
“This building is an opportunity to truly affect the future of STEM and engineering education in Sheboygan County,” Joseph-Silverstein said. “This program allows our residents to further their education locally and eliminates barriers such as commuting or relocating to complete a bachelor’s degree in this in-demand field. Offering the Platteville program in Sheboygan is our campus’ response to area employers who asked us to make it possible to educate local residents and their own employees to alleviate the need to look outside Sheboygan County for new highly skilled employees.”
Enrollment continues to grow in the UW-Platteville degree program, with nearly 70 UW-Sheboygan students listing Engineering as a major and 18 students who have already matriculated into the UW-Platteville program. The first collaborative program student graduated in December 2013. A second student is poised to graduate in May 2014, with other graduates soon to follow.
Groundbreaking on the project is expected in late summer, and the new building is expected to open to students in fall 2015.