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Get Your Hands on Your Future
One of the oldest residence halls at University of Wisconsin-Stout looked like a million bucks Sunday when it officially reopened.
Nearly 200 students moved in for the fall semester. They are the first residents in the completely renovated hall, which had been closed since January for the $6.9 million project.
“It’s a huge improvement. Everything is new. It looks welcoming and inviting,” said Cody Peterson, a senior from Pine City, Minn., who lives in Fleming and also is desk service manager. “It’s 1,000 percent better.”
The renovation was paid for with student housing fees. No taxpayer dollars are being used. The project was approved by the UW System Board of Regents and State Building Commission in September 2011.
Major improvements include new and expanded bathrooms, with individual shower stalls replacing shared shower spaces. Rooms have new furnishings, with movable furniture and compact microwave-refrigerator-freezer units. Wireless Internet is available throughout.
Chancellor Charles W. Sorensen toured Fleming Hall last week and talked with several students who had arrived early. He was impressed with the renovation.
“An outdated, mid-20th century residence hall has been transformed into a modern facility where students are excited to live and can feel at home. Campus facilities like these greatly enhance the student experience at UW-Stout,” Sorensen said.
Sorensen also said it is important for students and parents to realize the convenience included in UW-Stout’s residence halls. Students don’t need to bring microwaves, refrigerators or carpeting, and beds already are set up loft-style.
“We work hard on taking care of the little things so that students and parents don’t have to worry about them,” Sorensen said. “We try to make moving to campus as convenient as possible.”
Hundreds of volunteers, mostly athletes, were on hand Sunday to help move in students’ belongings at all residence halls.
One of the goals of the Fleming project was to bring in more natural light. Glass panels from the ground to the roof were added on the south and east sides, flooding lounges and hallways with light. Egress windows were added to a new lounge-kitchen and a new meeting room in the basement.
“Fleming Hall was a typical early 1960s residence hall — long narrow hallways, small outdated bathrooms with a shared shower area, dark basements with no natural light,” said Scott Griesbach, University Housing director.
“The changes to Fleming Hall are much more in keeping with the kinds of living environments that students desire. The building now provides better opportunities for group studying and socializing with a new game room, small and large study areas and meeting spaces.”
Rooms also have a new energy-saving and safety feature. The Phantom Power Switch can be used to cut standby electricity to anything plugged into a brown outlet when power isn’t needed. Items plugged into a white outlet, such as the refrigerator-freezer, remain connected.
Fleming is 50 years old. Capacity before construction was 198 but now is 193 because of the expanded bathrooms, Griesbach added.
Fleming also has new landscaping; energy-efficient windows and lights; heating, electrical and plumbing systems; network wiring; paint; carpeting; and fire alarm and fire suppression systems. An elevator and other handicapped-accessible features were added to the four-story building.
High-efficiency washers and dryers were installed in the basement laundry.
The general contractor was Immel Construction of Green Bay. The architect was Lien and Peterson of Eau Claire.
In 2010 Fleming Hall was connected to Hovlid Hall via a new shared entryway and central front desk. That project included the renovation of Hovlid and construction of North Point Dining and Fitness Center.
“This project completes that complex and provides a nice new environment for upperclass students living on north campus,” Griesbach said.