The largest academic building at University of Wisconsin-Stout has closed for a 1½-year renovation project, although plans already are being made to celebrate its reopening.
Work at Harvey Hall will begin this month with asbestos removal and interior demolition work. Construction is expected to start in June and finish in summer 2015.
The $28 million project was approved in October by the Wisconsin State Building Commission.
Classes were held in Harvey Hall last fall. Faculty and staff moved out last summer.
Classes for the upcoming semester begin Monday, Jan. 27. To make up for the loss of Harvey Hall classroom space, more early morning and late afternoon classes have been scheduled in other academic buildings.
Harvey Hall upgrades will include new windows, reconfigured and upgraded classrooms, remodeled offices and bathrooms and new electrical, mechanical and telecommunications systems. The upgraded building also will meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards.
The project is the second part of an improvement plan that began with the 2011 renovation of Harvey Hall Theatre. The theater, on the east end of the building, also will be closed during the current renovation.
While Harvey Hall is closed, UW-Stout plans to use Mabel Tainter Memorial Theater to stage plays and other performances, just as the school did before Harvey Hall opened in 1916.
Harvey Hall originally was named the Home Economics Building. It was renamed in 1952 after Lorenzo Dow Harvey, the school's first president from 1908 to 1922.
Harvey Hall was one of the buildings listed in 1986 in the Menomonie Downtown Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.
Building celebration planned
A celebration is being planned in 2016 to mark the building's 100th anniversary and reopening.
Students, faculty and staff are working on a history project that will document the building's rich past. Several classes are doing research and gathering artifacts to create an online digital history site.
Part of the effort, coordinated by the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, is an oral history project. The college is seeking to interview local residents and alumni with knowledge of the building and its history.
Harvey Hall houses the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and other offices.
To help fund the student research projects, donations are being sought.
Contact Juliet Fox, Alumni Association director at 715-232-1151 to be part of the oral history project or to donate.
A video about the Harvey Hall project has been produced by two UW-Stout students, Scott Fisher, of Rice Lake, and Stephen Nicksic, of Marshfield. The video features faculty discussing the building's legacy and centennial projects. It can be seen at UW-Stout's YouTube channel.
McCalmont Hall closed
A residence hall also closed for renovation during the semester break. McCalmont Hall is scheduled to reopen for the 2014 fall semester after a $7.9 million upgrade.
McCalmont Hall, built in 1963, partially was used for office space but after renovation will be used solely as a residence hall. The hall is at 220 10th Ave. E., west of the student center.
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