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An abandoned “big box” building in Oshkosh has undergone a major renovation that has converted it into a state-of-the-art Campus Services Center for the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s facilities management operations and postal and document services. The $6.2 million project paves the way for the University to begin construction on its new, state-of-the-art academic center, which will be located on the site of the former facilities management building. The University will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Campus Services Center at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 15, following the UW Oshkosh Foundation’s Report to the Community Breakfast.

The 54,000-square-foot building, formerly a Cub Foods grocery store, is located at 650 Witzel Avenue. Facilities management, central stores and the receiving departments were relocated to allow for the razing and site preparation this fall of the property. The long-awaited $48-million, 175,000-square-foot academic center – the first on the UW Oshkosh campus since 1971 – will provide a much-needed contemporary teaching and learning environment for the College of Business and numerous College of Letters and Science departments.

“The completion of the facilities management relocation project is a major step forward in the facilities plan for UW Oshkosh,” said Chancellor Richard H. Wells. “We are now able to raze the building to make way for construction of the region’s most distinctive learning environment. It also provides new life to an abandoned building – what was once decaying is now useful.”

The project was made possible thanks to a collaboration from Chamco, a non-profit industrial development organization that had bought and redeveloped the property. Chamco sold the property to the University for $800,000 less than independent appraisals indicated was a fair market value.

“The partnership with Chamco, which facilitated the successful completion of this project, was vital to its success,” said Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services Tom Sonnleitner. “These collaborations show the important link between the University and the community and showcase what can be accomplished with the support of the community.”

“I want to extend our campus community’s great appreciation to Gov. Jim Doyle and members of the Wisconsin State Building Commission, especially representatives Gordon Hintz and Dean Kaufert,” said Wells. “These two area legislators have worked very hard to help ensure that the residents of Northeast Wisconsin’s New North obtain their fair share of capital funding for the region’s higher educational needs.

“We also want to acknowledge the excellent job Department of Administration Division Administrator David Helbach and UW System staff members Tom Anderes and David Miller are doing managing the complex financial and budget planning related to our and other University of Wisconsin universities’ capital building projects. Finally, the outstanding support of UW System President Kevin Reilly and the Board of Regents, especially the work of the Capital Planning and Budget Committee, chaired by Regent Jeffrey Bartell, is much appreciated.”