By Barbara Young —
As each year comes and goes University of Wisconsin–Stout’s landscape and layout change, adding excitement to the older student’s first few weeks and a sense of nostalgia to the university’s alumni.
Over the summer, UW–Stout saw several changes. Gary Gust, holding an architect and engineering management position here at UW–Stout, gave Stoutonia the low down on what has happened over the past three months and what projects to look forward to over the next few years.
The plan to renew all of the South Campus dorm buildings began in the spring of 2014 and the first installment is nearly complete.
The top four residential floors of McCalmont were all completed just in time for students to move in. RAs were recruited to help move in furniture the last couple days before majority of students returned to campus. In the end, the building came together and its residents had their brand new 2014-2015 home.
“There are still some minor things to take care of,” Gust said, “and we’ll address those as quickly as we learn about them.”
The basement and common spaces, however, were not ready for students. The lounges on each floor need to be fitted with appliances and the basement is currently under construction.
“The basement level should be finishing up by the end of September,” Gust said.
The project, which was meant to be completed prior to move-in day, had a few delays, which pushed the time-table back.
“The cold winter impacted the progress of construction,” Gust explained, “and there were some unplanned power outages we had to make because of electrical cabling issues that we needed to deal with.”
UW–Stout’s plan, which only just began, has been set back at least a year.
“The approval for us to proceed with the projects has been delayed in Madison on a state level,” said Gust. “They have not moved on those items as quickly as we had requested them to.”
The original plan to do one project a year has been set back, with no means of recovery.
This means there is no certain start date for the North Hall renovation. “We won’t see construction for sure next summer,” Gust said.
In an attempt to speed along the process, the original plan to do the North Hall renovation in two phases is being changed to one phase. The plan is to take an entire year and do all of the project to completion for the following year.
In total the renewal plan for all living hall renovations is expected to take about 12 years.
UW–Stout is making steps toward a greener North Campus with the incoming additions of green space and a community garden.
Over the summer demolition took place at 108 3rd Ave. W. to remove the old Ministry building. The space will now be turned into an outdoor space for North Campus. The plan is to have the space ready for fall of 2015.
There was also land purchased on North Campus, west of Red Cedar Hall, which will be turned into a UW–Stout garden. There is currently a former student rental on the space, but there are plans to tear down the house to start building the community garden.
In the next three to four years Bowman Hall will be restored with new windows, doors and repaired brickwork.
“It’s on the national historic registry, so we’re going to restore it to its original layout from when it was initially built,” Gust said.
The project will also include work on the bell tower.
Another long-term project is the Merle Price Commons Dining Hall main floor renovation. According to Gust in three to four years the ground floor will have an overhaul in which the heating, ventilation and electrical systems will be replaced.
The floor will also be reorganized so it has a better layout for the offices currently there and student space.