Construction Begins On UW-Superior’s Lake Superior Research Institute Floating Classroom
Living in the Northland provides some amazing natural surroundings and there's none bigger than Lake Superior. In the near future, students at the University of Wisconsin-Superior will be provided a truly unique educational opportunity involving the Great Lake.
After a year and a half of planning, the UWS Floating Classroom is entering the construction phase. The plan for a floating classroom became a reality after a successful fundraising campaign conducted by the UW-Superior Foundation.
According to their news release, the state-of-the-art catamaran designed with a hybrid engine will be used for education and research on Lake Superior. The UW-Superior Lake Superior Research Institute will operate the boat out of Superior.
“The floating classroom will be an important addition to our research and educational programs,” said Chancellor Renée Wachter. “Through the unwavering generosity of the Swenson Family Foundation, this contemporary multi-use vessel will be constructed and equipped completely with private funding.”
This floating classroom sounds very impressive. The 65-foot aluminum catamaran will be 24-feet wide with a maximum capacity of 49 passengers. The main deck will have fully equipped wet and dry research labs, a moon pool opening, and fold-down diving platforms for sampling and analysis. A reinforced hull will allow operation in light winter conditions and the 4.6-foot draft will be operable in nearshore areas. A large classroom on the second deck with internet and communication technology will provide a flexible educational space.
The ship will be designed by Incat Crowther and built by Midship Marine in Harvey, Louisiana. It is slated to be completed in spring of 2024 and will be sailed to Superior after ice-out where it will be docked at the LSRI’s ballast water research facility at Montreal Pier.