Resch donates $5 million toward UWGB engineering school

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) -- There will soon be a new Science, Technology, Engineering and Math center on the UW-Green Bay campus.

It's a change, freshman Cole Hammer is excited to see, "The new building is going to be cool."

Hammer is pursuing a career in something he's always enjoyed, "I've always been interested in robotics and things."

The University is hoping to attract more students like Hammer.

Monday, Chancellor Gary Miller announced the addition of the 'Richard Resch School of Engineering', "Electrical, mechanical, environmental and this will add a fourth degree in mechanical engineering."

The UW System Board of Regents approved the engineering program last week.

The program will come with a new building called, 'The Phoenix Innovation Center.'

It'll house the new school of engineering, but will also be open to the community, "It's going to be built on the Board on Regency's Land, and it's a county facility."

The college says the new building and program will cost around $13 million. So far, its raised around $7 million.

Dick Resch, an executive with Green Bay furniture company KI, has donated $5 million toward the new school.

Wisconsin Public Service also donated $1 million.

Groundbreaking on the building won't be until spring of 2019.

But Miller says they hope to start enrolling students this Fall, "We have facilities here; we can use some facilities at NWTC. So, we're ramping up the enrollment in steps."

The collaboration is one, Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach says is in hopes to encourage more students into STEM careers, "From an employment standpoint, we need to have that workforce pipeline, we know that we have a great need in this region for engineers."

As for Hammer, he says he's looking forward to what's next, "It should add a lot more features to the school."

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