Regional roundup

Posted on Sep 27, 2018 :: Regional Roundup
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

interstate 41 Corridor

Brown, Calumet, Outagamie, Winnebago, Fond du Lac Counties

New visitor center to serve as Green Bay’s ‘front door’

The Greater Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau announced plans to open the new $6.5 million Experience Greater Green Bay Visitor Center. It aims to highlight the region’s attractions and what makes it special.

The center will be located at Interstate 41 and Lombardi Avenue, just west of Lambeau Field and the Green Bay Packers’ Titletown development. Scheduled to open in the summer of 2020, the two-story, 12,500-square-foot visitor center will highlight the Green Bay area as a great place to live, work and play by showcasing regional arts and culture, waterfronts, education, industry and quality of life. More than 5.7 million visitors spend an estimated $671 million annually in the greater Green Bay area.

When the center is finished, the CVB will move its offices to the site. They were previously located in the Brown County Arena, which sustained damage in last April’s blizzard and is being demolished to make way for a new expo center.

The visitor center will feature community spaces and an atrium with interactive displays that highlight attractions in greater Green Bay, the history and traditions of the community and its industries. It also will have an outdoor plaza and garden.

Groundbreaking held for Grand Chute indoor sports center

A ceremonial groundbreaking was recently held for the 164,000-square-foot Fox Cities Champion Center. The Town of Grand Chute Community Development Authority is building the indoor sports venue on town-owned land near the corner of Greenville Drive and McCarthy Road.

Scheduled to open in fall 2019, the Champion Center will be located less than two miles from I-41, the Fox River Mall, Fox Cities Stadium, hotels and dozens of restaurants. The Town of Grand Chute Community Development Authority issued municipal bonds for the construction and equipping of the Champion Center and hired Miron Construction Co. Inc. as construction manager for the project.

The construction bonds will be repaid solely from room tax collected by 10 Fox Cities municipalities. The facility will focus on attracting sports teams from outside the Fox Cities, providing them with the opportunity to participate in tournaments and events. Local user groups also will have access to the space, as the facility will complement other existing venues in the area to help fulfill unmet local needs.

The center will include a combination of ice and hard-court surfaces and will feature a year-round ice rink with seating for up to 1,000, a fieldhouse with four basketball courts or eight volleyball courts and a seasonal arena that can be an ice rink or four basketball or four volleyball courts. A study commissioned by the Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau estimated the facility will bring an estimated economic impact of up to $8.9 million in its first year.

The Fox Cities Champion Center will be operated by the not-for-profit Fox Cities Sports Development, Inc., a subsidiary of the Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau. Sports Facilities Management and Appleton Ice Inc. will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the facility.

STEM Innovation Center construction gets underway

Gov. Scott Walker, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Chancellor Gary Miller and Brown County and Green Bay community leaders gathered for the groundbreaking of the $15 million Brown County STEM Innovation Center that will be housed on the UW-Green Bay campus.

The center will serve as home of UW-Green Bay’s Richard J. Resch School of Engineering and the Einstein Project, a nonprofit that supports STEM education. It aims to address Northeast Wisconsin’s educational training and skills gap as qualified employees support manufacturing growth and enterprise.

Miron Construction Co. Inc. is serving as general contractor for the 63,790-square-foot facility, which is scheduled to open in August 2019. The project received $5 million in funding from the governor’s 2017-19 capital budget, $5 million from Brown County and $5 million in donations through UW-Green Bay.

“This community has been asking for engineering and STEM careers for decades,” Miller said in a press release. “Through our partnership with Brown County in the STEM Innovation Center, we established the Richard J. Resch School of Engineering to help meet the needs of this community. This is the first school of engineering established and based in Northeast Wisconsin, and we believe it will transform the economy for generations.”

With the three entities contributing to the project, leaders say it creates a unique collaboration that will have a positive impact on Northeast Wisconsin’s economy. It has garnered broad support of the local business community, employers, the State of Wisconsin and the UW System.

Miller says the school hopes to continue to create “many innovative public-private partnerships that support the innovation economy, knowledge creation and opportunity for the students of this region in the STEM areas.”

Repurposing correctional facility could offer ‘sizeable’ impact

A St. Norbert College economic impact study examining the prospect of repurposing the Green Bay Correctional Institute identified a potential for $138.5 million in economic output to the region annually.

The village of Allouez commissioned the study, which was conducted by the Center for Business & Economic Analysis of the Donald J. Schneider School of Business & Economics at St. Norbert College, to provide estimates of economic impact in terms of jobs, labor income, output and tax revenues for one conceptual plan created by local leaders and citizens in Allouez.

The GBCI, which opened in 1898, needs significant renovations for it to meet current security needs. While the decision to modernize the current facility or build new in a different location was outside the scope of the study, local leaders are exploring potential mixed-use development opportunities for the current location.

GBCI is located on a 50-acre parcel just south of Wisconsin 172 near the Riverside Drive/Webster Avenue exit in Brown County. When combined with an adjacent 14-acre undeveloped parcel owned by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the potential redevelopment site covers 64 acres.

The conceptual plan to redevelop the GBCI site includes a combination of retail shopping, commercial office space, apartments, condos and luxury duplexes, and a variety of community-oriented parks and recreational spaces. This conceptual plan has not been officially endorsed by local leaders and constituents.

The Northwoods

Florence, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto Counties

Bellin Health Oconto Hospital names new CEO
Bellin Health veteran Laura Cormier will bring more than three decades of experience to her new role as CEO of Bellin Health Oconto Hospital.

Cormier, previously president of operations for Bellin Health Oconto Hospital and Clinics, started Oct. 1 and is part of a new service delivery structure recently announced by incoming health system President and CEO Chris Woleske.

In her previous role, Cormier served as administrative leader for day-to-day operations including clinical, business, economic and strategic operations of the 10-bed Bellin Health Oconto Hospital, Marinette Multispecialty Clinic and six primary care clinics. Her new position includes oversight of and responsibility for Bellin’s northern region strategy. Incoming health system Vice President Julie Bieber will execute that strategy.

Bellin’s northern region includes Bellin Health Oconto Hospital and Clinic, the Marinette Ambulatory Surgery Center and Bellin Health clinics in Marinette, Peshtigo, Crivitz, Lakewood, Daggett, Oconto Falls, Suring and Menominee, Escanaba and Iron Mountain, Mich.

The Lakeshore

Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan Counties

Website launched for Sheboygan’s innovation district

The Sheboygan County Economic Development Corp. and City of Sheboygan announced the launch of, a website devoted to sharing with the world the concept plans, progress and vision of Wisconsin’s first innovation district, FreshTech.

Visitors to the site will see concept plans for the district and for the first innovation hub, currently named the LaunchPad. The entities soon will host an innovation summit with area businesses and educators to plan the programming in that facility.

“The urban core of Sheboygan is the cultural center of our community. We have art centers, urban parks, a beautiful waterfront, shopping, dining, entertainment and now we need higher education and corporation headquarters,” Sheboygan Mayor Michael Vandersteen said in a release. “FreshTech will complement those uses and provide value to the firms that want to surround their employees with quality of life amenities that will aid in talent attraction and retention.”

Innovation districts are areas where universities and companies cluster to connect with startups and one another to drive new technologies and innovation.

West Central

Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Marquette, Green Lake Counties

Wautoma Job Center relocates to new FVTC campus
The Wautoma Job Center, operated by the Fox Valley Workforce Development Board, has moved to a new location inside the regional campus of Fox Valley Technical College in Wautoma.

The phone number — 920-787-3338 — remains the same. The center is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Anyone seeking resume writing assistance, interviewing tips, information on unemployment insurance, job search skills and the possibility of retraining through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act is encouraged to stop at the center.