New STEM building project at UWGB begins with ceremonial groundbreaking

Rendering of new Brown Co. STEM Innovation Center, to house the Richard J. Resch School of Engineering on the UW-Green Bay campus. (Image courtesy UWGB)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- A new building focusing on science, technology, engineering and math will soon rise near the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

A ceremonial groundbreaking was held Monday for the Brown County STEM Innovation Center.

Governor Scott Walker was in attendance along with county officials and UW-Green Bay Chancellor, Gary Miller.

"It may be a building, it may be a structure, and that's really cool, but when you boil it down it's about keeping our graduates in the state," Walker said.

In addition to UWGB's Richard Resch School of Engineering, the new building will be home to the Einstein Project as well as Brown County's UW-Extension Land and Water Conservation Department.

The $15 million project is being built with $5 million in state money, $5 million in county money and $5 million in private donations.

Gov. Walker praised the progress of the innovation center. he said the center will help in job creation and to keep unemployment rates low.

Melinda Pollen is a leader with Brown County's 4H Youth development. She said the 4H youth robotics program is one that will utilize the new space.

"It is something that they can have a career path here and we can keep them here."

Members of the 4H Robotics team walked around showing off some of their handiwork during the groundbreaking Monday.

"Legos are cool, but they're coding things to operate those Lego built cars," said Walker. "When they're coding things like that right across from where the engineers are being trained what a cool thing to get young people involved."

Construction is expected to begin right away, and they hope the building will be open by this time next year.

“This $15 million STEM Innovation Center will help Wisconsinites gain the skills they need to work in high demand fields like science and technology, and manufacturing... It makes it all the more important that we continue to develop our workforce to not only fill jobs that are open today, but jobs that will be created in our state’s future," Walker said.

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