Students Vote for $25.5 million plan

Josh Nehs

University of Wisconsin–Stout students voted on different options involving the potential decision to renovate the Johnson Fieldhouse. Awareness of the ballot was raised through three meetings, social media and the Stout Student Association’s (SSA) table in the Memorial Student Center (MSC). The options given to students were as follows:

Option A includes repurposing the unused pool into a multipurpose gym and improving the locker rooms. This option received 103 votes.

Option B includes everything from Option A with Fitness Center member fees would be eliminated for UW-Stout students. This option received 265 votes.

Option C includes all of options A and B with an additional 20,000 square feet of new space for two second-floor multiuse courts, two studio gyms and a walking, an open space for recreation, and jogging track. Total cost is $25.5 million. Segregated fees would be $11.29 per credit for students. This option received 631 votes.

Option D includes no renovations or fee increases. This option received 265 votes.

For more information regarding each option, refer to Elizabeth Vierkant’s article SSA Election to Bring Major Changes to Campus in our last issue. According to the SSA President, Hannah Bragelman, a total of 1275 students participated in the vote, with 49% voting for option C. Stout students expressed their thoughts on the changes proposed for the Johnson Fieldhouse.

When asked how she felt about the vote to renovate the Johnson Fieldhouse, Emily Shafer, a sophomore in the video game design major said, “I don’t really want it to be updated.” Further elaborating on the reason, Shafer said, “My high school focused on funding sports over the arts, so there were many times we got the short end of the stick.” “We don’t have as many students into sports here, but that being said if the Fieldhouse is in a poor state they shouldn’t be ignored.”

Ryan Palma, a freshman in the applied science program, said “Most of my classes are in the Johnson Fieldhouse, and the classrooms are really small.” When speaking about the locker rooms, Palma said, “They’re in really bad shape. I definitely want them to be renovated.”

Allison Kleutsch, a freshman studying in special education, said “I’m for it. I don’t have any classes there, but if it improves it for other students, I’m okay with that.”

Sam Landstrom, a senior in the Information communication technologies program, said “Something that bothered me is having these gym facilities on campus that I assume my tuition already pays for, yet I’m not allowed to use them without a membership.” When speaking on whether he agrees with the vote, Landstrom said “I’m in favor of it, but I also won’t be here in a couple weeks when I graduate. Someone who has a lot of credits to pay for in the next few years might feel differently and I could understand why.”

SSA President Hannah Bragelman said the changes have been proposed to the Board of Regents, who have the power to deny or decrease the segregated fee increases that are a part of the plan.