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Reprinted from: Green Bay Press-Gazette

June 3, 2003

Aid OK'd for UWGB sports center

Committee commits up to $7.5M for plans

By John Dipko

MADISON - The Legislature's budget-writing committee agreed Monday to commit up to $7.5 million of bonding in two years toward a $30 million overhaul of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay's sports center.

The Joint Finance Committee's vote of 9-7 has no dollars-and-cents effect on the 2003-05 budget that's been in the works for weeks, but it inserts language that would direct the bonding to be part of the 2005-07 budget as long as other funding pieces are in place.

"I think we need to send a strong message to students at UWGB, their parents, and sponsors," said state Rep. Dean Kaufert, R-Neenah, the committee's co-chairman.

The state would fund only one-fourth of the project. At least $7.5 million would be funded through private fund raising.

The remaining half would come from students, who Kaufert says pay the highest student fees in the UW System in part to help cover the project's costs.

The proposed Student Sports and Events Center would include a new events center to hold 3,000 to 4,000 students, in addition to the existing Phoenix Sports Center, which would undergo remodeling.

Naming rights are being sought from a lead donor.

"We have important, big commitments from students, we're seeking $7.5 million to $10 million from the community, and I've heard from about every group they want confidence the state will come through with their share," UW-Green Bay Chancellor Bruce Shepard said.

Students would cover the $15 million through special fees, which started at $100 per student, is growing at $100 a year and will eventually top off at $400 per student.

The total 2002-03 fee was $1,023 per student.

Groundbreaking on the new center is expected in 2005 with a 2007 opening.

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