Education Village

In 1858, Winona became home to the first teacher preparation school west of the Mississippi River. Following our sesquicentennial, we began to think about teacher preparation for the 21st century. We intend to integrate the university into the community and its schools, establishing an Education Village near the campus. Fully 20% of WSU students are education majors today, making this project central to the future of our campus. 

Our Proposal

Our bonding request is a bold, responsive plan to renovate three buildings and environs (Wabasha Hall, Wabasha Rec and the Cathedral School) into an Education Village of the future that will be designed with integrated, flexible, state-of-the-art learning and teaching spaces. Labs, classrooms, offices, meeting and community spaces will take a cohesive, sensible form and provide space for the extraordinary preparation of extraordinary teachers and school professionals.

Phase I

Phase I of the project would cost $5.9 million. This funding was approved during the 2013-14 legislative session in 2014. In this phase we will work to identify needs and resources, as well as work with a design
firm and/or architect to develop a plan.

Phase II

Phase II of the project will focus on the renovation of 82,696 sq.ft. between Cathedral Elementary School building (built in 1929), Wabasha Recreation Center (built in the 1920s) and Wabasha Hall (built in the 1950s). We plan to repurpose and reuse old, vacant buildings, renovating them for shared community, school and university usage that will renew the surrounding neighborhood. This new space will be used to create new specialty labs and classrooms serving all education programs. Phase II will require an additional $25.3 million, for a total estimated project cost of $31.2 million.

The Village in Action

The Village will serve students and faculty in our College of Education departments and in content-area programs such as STEM, communications, health, art, music, social studies, language, international education, physical education, etc. Lab spaces will be designed with observation areas and accommodations for university students and faculty to interact with Pk-12 students and their teachers. There will be specialized areas designed for assistive/adaptive learning.

As communities change throughout Minnesota, future teachers will require more intentional preparation, support and inspiration. Village facilities will be equipped with modern technologies, resources and equipment necessary for the preparation of tomorrow’s teachers, counselors, coaches, and educational leaders.

Village Graduates Will Benefit from:


Immerse them in daily learning and performance as team members meeting the diverse needs of individual students and communities and working to counteract disparities in the educational system.

Field Placements

Arrange field placements from their first year with progressively more challenging placements each term.


Assign master Pk-12 teachers as mentors to each student early in his/her program.

Hands-on Work

Focus senior year around field placements and hands-on work with pupils and teachers.


Support graduates for their first three years of teaching.

A Connected Village

We will leverage WSU’s expertise in technology-rich education to guarantee a dynamic, linked village that is connected to our community, to our partners, and to the world. The Village is adjacent to the WSU main campus and a retirement center, and will renovate a vacated elementary school. Wabasha Hall already includes our child care center in one of the buildings which is establishing the groundwork of the community integration we seek.

The Village plans to:


Connect the Dots

Link with families, community members, organizations and businesses to help support future teachers by building an understanding of student and community needs.

Build Partnerships

Cultivate partner districts in the region and beyond to provide them with the teachers they need by placing our education students in the schools early and often--supported by Pk-12 teachers/university faculty team mentoring--and to let the schools aid in growing their own.

Design Beneficial Programming

Design, with our partners, mutually beneficial programs including internships and field placements in after-school programs, key kids, tutoring, counseling, mentoring, special education support.

Provide Workshops

Offer workshops and summer programs for regional teachers to exchange ideas/practices as well as develop new skills and methods.

Host Events

Host regional educational events such as Model UN, Model Legislature, debate/theater and other competitions and best practice summits.

We hope you will join us as we prepare the next generation of teachers for 21st century education. Together, we are Education Village.