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Board of Regents approves of UW-La Crosse fieldhouse project

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UPDATE: WHITEWATER, Wis. (WXOW) --- The UW System Board of Regents has approved of UW-La Crosse's fieldhouse project. The design report will now be submitted to the State Building Commission for its approval in their February meeting. Construction is anticipated to begin in August of 2020.

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) --- The UW System Board of Regents will vote on Friday whether or not to allow UW-La Crosse to construct a new fieldhouse and soccer support facility east of Roger Harring Stadium.

The goal is to alleviate stress on Mitchell Hall and other sports facilities while creating a home for several collegiate sports programs like cross country and track and field. It would also accommodate the school's growing Exercise and Sport Science Department.

"We're always in a crunch for space and trying to utilize space the best that we can," said Scott Schumacher, associate director of planning and construction for UW-La Crosse. "It's actually been in planning for several years, and it's always a shortage for space and recreation for exercise sports science."

The $49 million dollar project goes before the Planning & Budget Committee on Thursday. If they vote yes, it will go before the full Board of Regents on Friday. No state tax dollars will be used for the project. Funding comes through a 29 million dollar referendum students voted yes on in 2014 and cash reserves from the university.

"It'll be an active building," said Schumacher. "We're expecting from 6:00 a.m. until midnight, everyday."

The design features a 200-meter NCAA competition, indoor track with an all-sport surface infield and seating space for a minimum of 1,500 spectators. A walking and jogging track will be located on the second level. There will also be new men's and women's locker rooms, a training room, office suite, and storage for athletics.

If you the UW Board of Regents votes in favor of the fieldhouse, the plan will head to the State Building Commission for approval. With both approvals, construction could start as early as August of 2020.

Mike Beiermeister

WXOW Weekend Anchor and Reporter

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