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LA CROSSE, WS-A new $11 million Center for Ethics, Science, and Technology At Viterbo University is now on line in this western Wisconsin town about 150 southeast of the Twin Cities.

The center recently opened to students as construction was finishing up on the 68,000-sf facility. The facility has been in the works since the mid-1990s when friends of D.B. Reinhart, the late La Crosse businessman and philanthropist, established an ethics institute that would bear his name. In 1998, the Marjorie A. and D.B. Reinhart Family Foundation made a $3 million dollar gift to Viterbo, the largest in its history.

TCI Architects/Engineers/Contractors Inc. was in charge of the 18-month construction project, which created 18 new laboratories and added distance education classrooms and various multimedia functions.

“The center will offer unbelievable technological opportunities for Viterbo and the La Crosse community by eliminating barriers of time and place,” says Mark Franz director of instructional and information technology at Viterbo.

The new building will give Viterbo much needed classroom space for its 2,500 graduate and undergraduate students, more than twice the number 12 years ago at its La Crosse campus.

The Franciscan heritage of Viterbo University is reflected in the architecture of the Center for Ethics, Science, and Technology. The building and grounds include many elements that refer to the natural environment such as fabrics done in earth tones and nearby rivers symbolized in the flowing corridors, wall panels, and carpet textures. Decorative panels, located on the south side of the center are based on St. Francis of Assisi’s “Canticle of the Creatures.”

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