Winona State to float new classsroom boat

2013-06-28T11:00:00Z Winona State to float new classsroom boatWinona Daily News La Crosse Tribune
June 28, 2013 11:00 am  • 

WINONA, Minn. — Cal Fremling’s name will soon return to the Mississippi River he spent a lifetime studying and building a relationship with.

Winona State University announced this week that it has secured enough funding to begin work on the Dr. Calvin R. Fremling Floating Interpretive Center and Classroom, a 49-passenger boat the university will use to provide educational and social opportunities on the Mississippi River.

Fremling was a long-time professor of biology at WSU who died in 2010 at age 80. He was a renowned Mississippi River expert whose name was synonymous with the river.

“I know that Cal would be absolutely overwhelmed,” said his widow, Arlayne. “Because of his love of the river, students and research. He just loved to be a part of student life.”

Jim Schmidt, WSU’s outgoing vice president for advancement, said the university has raised $550,000 for the boat and is creating an endowment to cover operating costs.

“People in the Winona community and our alumni have been extraordinarily generous,” Schmidt said. “A lot of money came from people who wanted to pay tribute to Cal Fremling’s work.”

Fremling was one of the best-loved and remembered professors in WSU’s history, Schmidt said.

“Whenever someone would ask him about the river his eyes would light up and he would go into teaching mode,” Schmidt said. “It was like he reached across and pulled you in to something he loved so much.”

SkipperLiner out of La Crosse is working on the design for the boat, which will be handicapped accessible, Schmidt said. The university also plans to work with Visit Winona and other local groups to create classes and events for the boat.

WSU hopes to have the boat in the water and ready for use by spring 2014.

The boat isn’t WSU’s first attempt at providing education on the river. It acquired a houseboat in the early 2000s for use as a floating classroom.

But when the interstate bridge was closed in 2008, the U.S. Coast Guard came to Winona to inspect the ferries transporting people across the river and discovered the boat was out of code, and WSU sold it.

Since, Schmidt said, the university has been working hard to get a boat back on the river — one that’s Coast Guard approved.

“It was a very successful venture,” he said. “We’ve had a five-year, pent-up demand to buy another boat.”

Copyright 2015 La Crosse Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(2) Comments

  1. Mr Wizard
    Report Abuse
    Mr Wizard - June 28, 2013 8:28 pm
    It's no wonder so many college graduates can't find a job. A class on riverboating makes basket weaving seem hi-tech.
  2. Mobley
    Report Abuse
    Mobley - June 28, 2013 12:21 pm
    I think it's great that Dr. Fremling is being honored! I was fortunate enough to have Dr. Fremling for a class and being a fellow outdoorsman i remember a couple things about him that stand out. He told me that his best day with a speargun (underwater diving) was a 38 pound Carp and a 38 pound Buffalo! Dr. Fremling dove and inspected 100's of wing dams and was a real expert on these structures. He also made me chuckle one day in class when he let his humanity slip and he grumbled about he's still eating eggs even when they say you shouldn't.
Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Search local business directory

Hint: Enter a keyword that you are looking for like tires, pizza or doctors or browse the full business directory.


Follow The La Crosse Tribune







Latest Local Offers

Today's Question

Loading…

How often do you use Twitter?

View Results

Featured Businesses

AD BOARD

VIEW ADS  >

SEARCH ALL ADS
Sign Up for Our Email Lists

Breaking News, News Update and Sports Update Headlines. Delivered at 11a.m. daily.

Sign up for Events, Contests and Promotions

Business report, local Business news. Delivered once per month.

New employment opportunities in the region.

Local homes for sale.

Cars, Trucks, Vans, SUVs, Motorcycles, ATVs, Boats, RV's & more

JOB BOARD

VIEW ADS  >

JOBS SENT TO YOUR EMAIL
SEARCH ALL ADS

Homes