The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (UWO) has received an approval for the design of the first energy efficient academic building from the Wisconsin State Building Commission (SBC). The new academic center is expected to open in 2011. The plan for 175,000-square-foot academic center was approved by the UW board of regents in December 2008. This academic center will be built to gold LEED standards, making it the most environmentally friendly and efficient building in the State of Wisconsin.

The academic center is nearly twice the size of the University’s new Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

“We are thankful for the support of Gov. Doyle and members of the SBC, especially newly appointed Colleges and Universities Committee Chair Rep. Gordon Hintz and Rep. Dean Kaufert, for supporting the University, its 12,700 current students and the tens of thousands of future students who will benefit from this long-awaited teaching and learning facility,” said Chancellor Richard H. Wells. “Modern facilities are an essential component to meet Wisconsin’s growing demand for well-educated professionals and business leaders.”

The $54-million funding package provides $40 million from the state to fund construction of the building as well as $6.2 million for the relocation of and site preparation for the facilities management department, currently located on the future site of the building, along the Fox River.

An additional $8 million is being raised from private donors via the pride.purpose.promise campaign in the University.

“The SBC’s unanimous approval is a major milestone in the building process after years of planning,” Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services Tom Sonnleitner said. “We remain on track to solicit bids for the construction project in June, with groundbreaking scheduled for September.”