MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WSAW) -- For the first time in 50 years, students and UW-Marshfield/Wood County will be learning science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM in a state of the art facility.
Associate Professor Dr. Laura Lee said it's a far cry from where students and faculty learn and teach now.
"Our lab stools don't meet current safety standards. We have old hoods in the chemistry lab. So some of it has been replaced in the not too distant past, but a lot of it is still the same stuff that was there back in the 1960s and 1970s."
Building the Everett Roehl STEM Center has not been cheap.
Luckily, Keith Montgomery, Dean of UW Colleges North, said the community has stepped up to help cover costs.
"The city and the county both gave a million dollars each and then the community raised almost four million dollars," Montgomery said.
The money, combined with state funding, is helping to make the center a reality.
Once construction is complete, UW Colleges and Extension Chancellor Cathy Sandeen said there are hopes the new building will attract students to STEM careers and better improve the lives of those living in both Marshfield and Wood County.
"So we hope that it will excite even more students to stay right here and continue to work in Marshfield," Sandeen said.
Students like second year chemistry student Mikaela Schmit, said she's looking forward to using the new facility when it opens next fall.
"I'll be able to take a lot more classes. I'll be able to prepare for going to Madison and not be used to having old facilities. I'll be able to use new ones and get prepared for what it's going to be like in Madison," Schmit said.
Montgomery said administrators and faculty don't just see the new building as a space for students to learn, they also see it as an investment in the city of Marshfield.
"This is a facility for the next 50 years. This is really a facility for the future."