New $96 million Cofrin Technology & Education Center at UWGB proposed in Evers’ Capital Budget

Published: Mar. 16, 2021 at 3:28 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The State Building Commission will take up Governor Evers’ $2.3 billion 2021-23 Capital Budget on Wednesday.

It includes major construction projects in 31 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, including two major investments proposed in Brown County.

If lawmakers ultimately give the ok, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay campus will have a whole new look in the years to come with a $96.3 million dollar new Cofrin Technology and Education Center leading the way.

“Cofrin Technology Center at UW-Green Bay, that’s potentially 1,200 jobs because that’s about a $100 million project that’s going to re-imagine the whole campus there and take a facility that’s 50-60 years old and take it into a new generation of innovation,” says Joel Brennan, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Administration.

According to a Department of Administration study last spring, a renovation of the of the existing facility would not be cost effective and still result in a highly compromised facility, describing the condition of the exterior envelope of the building as poor, deteriorated and unstable.

“When it comes to the engine of innovation and what the UW System means, that $100 million investment at UW-Green Bay is really I think one that can have a demonstrable influence and impact moving forward,” says Secretary Brennan.

While the long term future of the Green Bay Correctional Institution continues to be debated, the Governor is pushing for $12.5 million to build a Health Services Unit.

“In the correctional system, you’ve got aging individuals who are part of that system and you’ve got buildings that were not built for people who are 50-60 years old, their health needs are different, so in order to make accommodations for that, in order to be reflective of the population as it is now and as it’s going to be, I think these are investments that are about providing basic health services,” says Secretary Brennan.

According to Secretary Brennan, the Governor’s Capital Budget would have a $4.3 billon economic impact, and the time to invest is now.

“If we continue to just push these off down the road, two things are guaranteed, they get worse and they get more expensive,” says Secretary Brennan.

The State Building Commission will submit its Capital Budget recommendations to the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee early next month.

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