As spring semester unfolds, we look forward to a number of exciting changes to our physical spaces.
Next month, WSU will become the site of the largest university climbing facility in the Midwest, with a new 5,200-square-foot modular climbing wall being erected in Wabasha Recreation Center. The climbing facility will be used for curricular and recreational purposes by our academic departments and our students. We will also partner with the City of Winona on community use and programming to make the facility accessible to K-12 students, community members and other visitors. Our new climbing facility was made possible by generous gifts from members of the Winona community and university innovation funds.
As many of you know, the Laird Norton Foundation approached the university about assuming ownership of the property at 125 W. 5th St. We are in ongoing discussions with Laird Norton, and if all goes as planned, the terms of the gift will be presented to the MnSCU Board of Trustees at its March meeting for approval. The intention is to use the 30,000-square-foot facility for the arts.
Finally, the next phase of our long-awaited railroad tunnels project is set to begin this summer. Canadian Pacific Rail is scheduled to install the box culverts starting as early as July 2015. We can only hope the ground is thawed out by then!