Sonnentag Centre construction to start this year
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - After years of discussion and planning, crews may break ground on the Sonnentag Centre in 2021.
Kimera Way is the President of the Eau Claire Community Complex, a consortium that will own the Sonnentag Centre. She said construction will begin in the fall.
The building would include a 5,100-seat Events Center, fitness facility and Mayo Clinic facility.
“If you talk to people who have lived in Eau Claire all of their lives, they have been talking about having some facility like this for the last 40 years,” Way said.
She said construction was supposed to begin in 2020 but the coronavirus pandemic delayed the project.
“Right now we’re in the process of finalizing what will be in the first phase of this project, which will be the events facility, the fitness component and the Mayo Clinic part,” Way said.
She said there are no current plans for future project phases.
The facility will host UWEC Blugolds Men’s and Women’s Basketball. The Events Center will also bring other events to the Chippewa Valley including concerts, graduations and festivals.
Eau Claire Interim City Manager Dave Solberg said a bigger facility is necessary to attract large events and the economic impact that comes with them.
“There are a number of events that you can’t event get on the list until you’re at a certain seating level or at a certain capacity,” he said. “So that was one of the initial studies that was done to try and determine that optimum size of the facility because it is larger than the university needs.”
Solberg said the city will contribute about $9 million to the project.
Way said developers don’t know the total cost but it will be less than the original figure, $100 million.
She said UWEC students still have to pass a student referendum raising fees so the university can lease the Events Center and fitness facility.
Way also said if things go as planned, the facility should open in 2023.
It will be located on Menomonie Street near Hobbs Ice Arena in Eau Claire.
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