By Jake Huffcutt —
As most UW–Stout students know, the old Harvey Hall has been closed since January 2014 as it undergoes a series of modifications and renovations. What students may not know is just what renovations are taking place. The refurbishings and new additions to the building will include a classroom that has been equipped with advanced audio and visual equipment for film studies classes, a café on the main level, a second elevator, and the old President’s Office restored with its historic fireplace among other revamps. Classrooms will be moved down to the first two floors of the building, while the offices will now be on the third and fourth floors.
The project is the largest and most expensive building renovation project in Stout’s history ($28 million), and completion is predicted to end late Spring 2016. This will be just in time for the building’s 100th anniversary.
The first phase of restoring Harvey Hall was finished in 2011, when the Harvey Theatre was fully renovated. New modifications added for the remodeled theatre included new seats, lighting, controls and a new sound system. Interestingly the theatre was registered as a historic theater in 2014, which made it the second historic theater in Menomonie along with the Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts. During the Harvey Hall renovations, the University Theatre has been using the Mabel Tainter for plays.
Originally called the Household Arts Building after its initial construction in 1916, the building was renamed in 1952 after Lorenzo Dow Harvey who was Stout’s president from 1908 to 1922. Over the years Harvey Hall has housed the schools of Home Economics, Education and Human Services, and Liberal Studies. It is currently the center for the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.