GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - UW-Green Bay has received approval to move forward with a new engineering school.
On Feb. 9, the UW System Board of Regents approved UWGB's request to build a School of Engineering on campus.
The regents approved UW-Green Bay's Mechanical Engineering program, which will start in the fall 2018 semester. This is UWGB's first four-year engineering program.
John Katers, now the Dean of UW-Green Bay's College of Science and Technology, says the new program will keep students from transferring to other schools in search of an engineering degree.
"We have a lot of students who have done that over the years, and not all the students necessarily come back to the region," said Katers, "so this way we can produce our own engineering talent right here in Northeast Wisconsin."
“This is a monumental day for our community and our region, one that’s been 30 years in the making,” said UW-Green Bay Chancellor Gary L. Miller. “Business leaders in this community have wanted engineering to be offered at UW-Green Bay for decades. We are now on the cusp of something very transformational for this community, our economy, and most importantly, our students, who are the workforce of the future.”
Miller says UWGB has secured donations of $7.1 million for the School of Engineering.
Along with a new program comes a new $15 million STEM Innovation Center. Here's how it will be paid for: $5 million from the Wisconsin state budget, $5 million from Brown County's half-percent sales tax that took effect January 1 and the rest is covered through the college's fundraising efforts.
The 63,000 square foot building will be located in a field right across from the Laboratory Sciences building on UWGB's campus.
"The building will house our mechanical engineering program, UW-Extension, Brown County Land and Conservation and the Einstein project," said Katers.
Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach says the school will "create economic development for years to come."
“I’m excited to get to the next step in this venture when we begin construction on the home for this engineering school – the STEM Innovation Center,” Streckenbach says. “For me, this STEM Innovation Center is about being a hands-on partner for providing solutions and coming together to ensure all our students have opportunities to be tomorrow’s innovators.”