Public phase of capital campaign for new STEM building launched
UW-Marshfield/Wood County’s planned new science, technology, engineering, and math building would be named for Everett Roehl upon completion thanks to large donation
By Adam Hocking
MARSHFIELD — Everett Roehl may soon have two prominent buildings in Marshfield named for him. The new library in town will bear Roehl’s name, and assuming enough funds are raised to complete the project, the new science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) facility planned for the UW-Marshfield/Wood County (UW-M/WC) campus will too, thanks to a significant donation he has made to the project’s capital campaign. The amount of Roehl’s donation was not disclosed.
Roehl is the founder of Roehl Transport Inc., one of the nation’s 100 largest trucking companies.
Including Roehl’s donation, the quiet phase of the STEM fundraising campaign has raised $3.2 million. A ceremony Tuesday evening was the official kickoff of the public phase of the capital campaign and was the first public announcement that the STEM facility will be named for Roehl.
Wood County has committed $1 million to the STEM project as will the city of Marshfield if certain conditions are met, one being that the fundraising campaign must reach its goal of $6 million in private funds raised by Sept. 30, 2016. Combining private donations, city, and county funds, the project has a total of $5.2 million raised to date.
The scope of the project also includes renovating the existing Aldo Leopold Science Building on campus. Between building a new STEM facility and renovating the existing science building, the project is estimated to cost about $8 million total. Fundraising efforts for the project began in early 2014, said Executive Director of the UW-Marshfield/Wood County Foundation Roxie Wetterau.
The public fundraising campaign is slated to last a full year with groundbreaking and construction of the new STEM facility starting in 2016 and finishing in 2017. Renovations for the Aldo Leopold Science Building are scheduled for 2017.
The new STEM facility is planned to be about 18,000 square feet and would be adjoined to the Aldo Leopold Science Building.
STEM campaign drive chairs Dan and Cindy Burns said they felt confident that with the assistance of the community, enough funds would be raised to allow the project to come to fruition. Dan Burns, an alumnus of UW-M/WC, said that very little in the way of upgrades has been done to the current facilities on campus.
“In order to attract not only the students but keep good professors and attract new professors, you’re going to need updated equipment, and the equipment and everything is just paramount to keeping people here, getting educated correctly, and finding a job in central Wisconsin,” Dan Burns said. Wood County Sheriff Thomas Reichert and his wife Melissa Reichert, who is president of the Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce, are also drive chairs of the STEM campaign.
A press release from UW-M/WC said that existing science facilities on campus have “remained relatively the same since the campus was opened in 1964.”
“This project will help our local economy by meeting the needs of employers for qualified employees. Upgrading and expanding the facilities will allow us to provide students a cutting edge education in the STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and math,” Wetterau said.
“The renovations will enhance our current teaching methods. Updated technology will allow us to seamlessly integrate digital resources and real-time data and information into the classroom,” said Dr. Laura Lee, associate professor of biology at UW-M/WC.
For more information about the campaign, visit marshfield.uwc.edu/community/foundation/stem-capital-campaign or call Roxie Wetterau at 715-384-1703.