SEH groundbreaking begins major reconstruction in Chippewa Falls - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

SEH groundbreaking begins major reconstruction in Chippewa Falls


Chippewa Falls (WQOW) - The Chippewa Falls mayor calls it a monumental time. Monday, development plans took a step forward. 

Short Elliot Hendrickson, an engineering and architectural firm, held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new downtown office. The 21,000 square foot building will combine with a much different intersection of River Street and Bridge Street. 

"Today we have about 60 employees, and we're excited about moving into downtown Chippewa Falls," said Sam Claassen, SEH President and CEO.

Monday morning may have been the groundbreaking ceremony, but work has already started on the new SEH building in Chippewa Falls. The two-story building will be part of a brand new look being planned for the city.

"We're putting together this downtown entryway not just for another park, another park is important, but it's also to create new businesses, to create activity downtown," said Chippewa Falls Mayor Greg Hoffman.

The park will give the city added green space, once all the land is in the city's hands.

"We have a couple more buildings that we need to acquire, one of those is the Chamber building, the other is Chippewa Valley Roofing, and we're working with the people to do that," said Jayson Smith, Chippewa Falls City Planner.

Another aspect of the new entry into downtown is a new route to get there. The city will get rid of the one way in favor of a roundabout.

"That's going to be very safe for pedestrians, it slows traffic down. When you have people coming in from the south, they're coming off sort of the highway, and they're moving pretty quick, so it's a traffic calming effect," Smith explained.

As for SEH, the company currently has close to 60 employees at its Chippewa Falls location. But the new building is able to handle more than 80. The location is just one of several offices around the state.

"These are high paying jobs, family sustaining wage jobs in Wisconsin. And we're excited for the growth of SEH in Wisconsin. And I've learned that over the next 10 years they're hoping that their footprint in Wisconsin doubles," said Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch.

The Chamber of Commerce will need to spend roughly $1.2 million to renovate the old Empire Building where it plans to move. The city expects to pay around $450,000 to buy the old chamber building. SEH says it has not hired any new employees for the new building at this time.

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