2017-18 academic year already historic
PLATTEVILLE, Wis – Even though the 2017-18 academic year is only two weeks old, it is already going down as a historic year for the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.
Just one year after the university celebrated its 150th birthday, UW-Platteville received even more reasons to celebrate when the state budget was signed Thursday, Sept. 21. Included in the budget were $55 million to build a new engineering building, Sesquicentennial Hall, and $23 million to renovate its science building, Boebel Hall. Those two projects, plus a $15 million student-funded expansion to Williams Fieldhouse, mean more than $93 million in improvements are coming soon to the campus.
“This is an exciting time for UW-Platteville,” Chancellor Dennis J. Shields said. “I look forward to seeing the impact these projects will have on the state, our campus, the nation and the globe, for years to come. The UW-Platteville legacy began more than 150 years ago. These capital projects will position us to fulfill this legacy for generations to come.”
The university has 8,544 total students enrolled in the 2017-18 academic year, according to the 10th-day numbers released this week. That number includes 7,609 undergraduate and 935 graduate students. The first-to-second-year retention rate increased to 79 percent, an improvement of the previous year’s rate of 77 percent.
Retention is one of the institutional priorities in the university’s 2017-18 work plan that Chancellor Shields calls the Student Success Platform. Among the other priority areas for the new year are improving student learning, making data-informed decisions, budgeting and planning, recruiting and campus climate.
Sesquicentennial Hall can accommodate an additional 800 freshmen and 200 transfer students for the university, which graduates the second-most engineers in the state. Engineering enrollment has grown 40 percent since 2010, with 75 percent of the graduates staying in Wisconsin to strengthen the state’s workforce. Sesquicentennial Hall would replace the 1966 building, Ottensman Hall.
Boebel Hall’s phase two renovations will update 52 rooms, including 17 labs and can accommodate up to 300 additional biology and pre-professional program majors. The university paid for phase one renovations to the 1977 building in 2010.
The Williams Fieldhouse project will add three multi-purpose athletic courts, Fitness Center expansion of cardiovascular, weight training and exercise areas, as well as a new athletic training room, lockers, showers and restrooms. In addition to increased indoor space, a new outdoor multi-sport artificial turf field with outdoor lighting will be constructed northwest of the intersection of Jay Street and Southwest Road.
Written by: Paul Erickson, Director, Communications, 608-342-1194, firstname.lastname@example.org