Eau Claire (WQOW) - The next UW Board of Regents meeting in Madison is a week away, and Tuesday, WQOW News 18 officially confirmed, the board will not consider funding the project at its February meeting.
Developers are not calling this a setback, they say nothing has changed about the timeline to have the project finished by 2016. When the Board of Regents met in October, it unanimously passed a resolution in support of the concept.
The $85 million project includes a community arts center, student housing and retail in downtown Eau Claire. Organizers plan to ask for $55 million from the board in two separate requests.
After the October meeting, WQOW News 18 believed they would go before the board again in December to request funding, that didn't happen. Tuesday, WQOW News 18 was told, the board will not take it up next month either.
The Board of Regents is requiring developers to satisfy five criteria. The most critical is to determine how the community arts center will be operated. A consultant has been studying that, and the report is not available yet.
Tuesday, a member of the Board of Regents told WQOW News 18 it wouldn't be worth it for developers to go before the board without knowing more specifics about operations.
Mike Rindo, a Vice Chancellor for UW-Eau Claire says the process of seeking funding is not a linear one because there are so many players involved, and that includes the city and county, which haven't approved funding yet either.
"It is not, if entity A does this, then entity B will do this, and entity C will do this. It's more, we need to ensure that we're working with all of the various constituents who are participating, and will help fund this, to ensure that they have their needs met," says Rindo.
Developers say the details of the consultant study should be released within the next couple of weeks.