DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) – Construction should start August 2 on the Mulva Cultural Center in De Pere. And that’s not the only news that came during an update to De Pere City Council this week. Jim and Miriam Mulva are now committing even more money to the project.
It’s been six years since Jim and Miriam Mulva proposed building a cultural center at their own expense, on the east end of the Claude Allouez Bridge. But this week the former CEO of Conoco Phillips and his wife came before De Pere’s common council, to say construction gets underway soon.
“This project is the largest single project that our family has ever undertaken and likely will ever undertake,” said Jim Mulva.
The budget for the project has changed a lot over the years since first announced in 2015 and estimated at $7 million. It now sits at $95 million and the Mulvas say it is money well spent.
“We think it’s all been worth it – the length of time we’ve actually added to the project by waiting has really made it so much better,” said Miriam Mulva.
The cultural center includes a two-story glass atrium, exhibition hall, restaurant, classrooms, meeting space and an auditorium seating 200. The project team also added an LED screen to the theatre, which increased the project’s cost.
“It has grown in complexity, it’s grown in size, it’s grown in what we want to do and accomplish,” said Jim Mulva
“We’re just incredibly grateful for the generosity of Jim and Miriam Mulva,” said De Pere Alderperson Jonathon Hansen.
Hansen says the world-class traveling exhibits that will be displayed here will attract 100,000 people annually.
“You think about the economic impact it’s going to have, especially on our small businesses.We had one estimate of up to $3 million annually in economic impact,” Hansen said.
“The whole thing is completely designed. I really think the last thing we have to do is really pick out the landscaping and the furniture,” said Miriam Mulva.
“We feel very strongly about De Pere. The project is really a give back, a gift to the community of De Pere, greater Green Bay and Northeast Wisconsin,” Jim Mulva added.
The Mulvas are De Pere natives and hope to have the cultural center open to the public in the spring of 2023.