By Andrew Lehn —

The State Building Commission recommended approval on a budget that includes three major construction projects here at University of Wisconsin–Stout.

Some part of Stout always seems to be undergoing improvements and renovations; the next couple years are looking to follow that trend. The state budget for the next two-year period contains many building projects, including renovations to North Hall, Bowman Hall and the Price Commons.

The renovations to North Hall will be the most costly upcoming project at Stout, with a price tag of $17.7 million. Tasks will include fixing electrical and mechanical systems in the 370-bed dorm. Renovation is aimed to be finished in December 2019.

Renovations to Bowman Hall are proposed at $8.9 million. This would include work on the clock tower, which is Stout’s oldest structure, originally built in 1897.

Price Commons would be the least expensive project at $6.7 million with a completion date set on June 2019.

These projects are part of the 2015 to 2017 capital budget for the next biennium, which was originally proposed at a cost of $775.5 million by all state agencies. The requested budget was pared down to $623.74 million by Walker. The current project costs were adapted for the smaller budget.

The current biennium capital budget may be approved by the State Building Commission, but in the upcoming months it will also need to be approved by the Joint Finance Committee, then the State Legislature and finally Governor Walker. It is now unclear if these projects will be complete at the proposed times.

Gary Gust, the interim campus planner and coordinator for many of the major projects, believes that these projects will be completed, but he doesn’t know when. “It is the timelines we are unsure about.” said Gust. “These projects have advanced to the next phase in the approval process, but a number of our other projects have been delayed which we hope will be considered in future biennium.”

The budget is tight, but things are still on the proposed timeline, so expect to see more construction and heavy equipment around campus for quite some time.


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