WSU floating classroom deemed “seaworthy.”

Posted by HBC Newsdesk June 2, 2014

Winona State University’s new floating classroom “the Cal Fremling” has passed its Coast Guard testing and has been deemed “seaworthy” and ready for service.

The Cal Fremling, is scheduled to be christened Friday, June 6 in a special ceremony at Levee Park. Last Thursday, May 29, the U.S. Coast Guard put the vessel through its paces to make sure it is ready to begin its education mission.

From its mooring at Skipperliner in La Crosse, members of the Coast Guard checked the boat’s stability by placing water filled barrels on the decks. The coast guard was expected to finish its work on the Cal Fremling later Thursday afternoon. That’s good because Captain Rudy Benshensky is anxious to get on board.

Retired faculty member Jim Reynolds has been involved in nearly every aspect of the building of the Cal Fremling . Reynolds believes the Cal Fremling to be one of a kind. While the Cal Fremling is primarily a teaching vessel, Reynolds said it will be a wonderful resource for the entire Winona community.

One of the unique features of the boat is its “draft” or the depth of water it needs to operate. The Cal Fremling has a very shallow draft. Because of that Benshensky is looking forward to taking students into the backwaters.

Once again, there will be a celebration held Friday June 6 at Levee Park beginning at 2:30 pm to mark the arrival and christening of the Cal Fremling. Activities planned include educational stations, live music and free root beer floats. The celebration is free and open to the public.

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