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Falcon Center approved by Board of Regents, State Building Commission

October 24, 2013

The Falcon Center for Health, Education and Wellness Project that will be constructed on the UW-River Falls campus was approved by both the Wisconsin Board of Regents and the State Building Commission in the previous weeks.

The Board of Regents met on Oct. 10, and 11, followed by the State Building Commission’s meeting on Oct. 16.

The Board of Regents meeting discussed the approval of the design report for the Falcon Center Project. The board also authorized the construction of the building. Capital Planning and Budget Committee approved the project followed by the approval from the Board of Regents.

The State Building Commission unanimously approved the design report for the building and also granted the authority to construct the Falcon Center. This approval will release the construction funds for the project.

One of the greatest challenges for the Falcon Center Project has been getting funding, according to Special Assistant to the Chancellor Blake Fry.

“The Board of Regents recommended this project as part of their capital budget for 12 years before the state actually approved it,” Fry said.

Fry added that in 2011, the Board of Regents approved pre-enumeration for the project.

“They said we are committed to providing funding for this project, but not right away,” Fry said. “We are going to do it in two years, but what pre-enumeration allowed us to do was get the architects hired and get that whole process started.”

Health and Human Performance Professor and Softball Head Coach Faye Perkins said that the approval from the Board of Regents was significant.

“It is one more step to getting this completed,” Perkins said. “Every single step that we take is one step closer to making this dream a reality.”

Campus Planner Dale Braun has helped guide the campus and facilitate the whole planning and design process for the Falcon Center. Braun stated that the funding process for the building has been frustrating.

“We have had such dramatic needs and very evident needs for so many years,” Braun said. “The fact that we’ve had to wait so long to get this far has been very tough.”

Now that the Falcon Center Project has been approved by both the Board of Regents and the State Building Commission, construction can begin as planned. Construction of the building will begin in April of 2014, according to the Major Project Request of the Falcon Center Project.

Both the Board of Regents and the State Building Commission estimated the project to take out roughly $62,412,000. The construction of the building will cost approximately $47,720,000, according to the request that was approved by the Board of Regents.

A substantial portion of the construction is expected to be complete by November of 2015. Perkins stated she has been involved in the Falcon Center Project since discussions about the new facility began approximately 20 years ago.

“I have spent a lot of time and energy on this project in different ways,” Perkins said. “So I cannot wait to walk into one of the new classrooms and into the Falcon Center and be able to teach out there.”