Ceremony Sept. 22 to feature renovated, historic Harvey Hall

By University Communications
September 19, 2016
UW-Stout’s Harvey Hall opened in 1916. A grand reopening, after a $28.3 million renovation, will be held Thursday, Sept. 22.

Photo: UW-Stout’s Harvey Hall opened in 1916. A grand reopening,
after a $28.3 million renovation, will be held Thursday, Sept. 22.

 As Stout Institute was coming of age more than a century ago, it became clear that a major academic building was needed to accommodate enrollment growth and curriculum expansion. In fact, in fall 1912 enrollment had hit 545 students and 100 applicants had to be turned away.

Stout Institute “was a victim of its own success; it was bulging at its seams,” according to a soon-to-be-released history of UW-Stout.

Lorenzo Dow Harvey, who took over leadership of the school upon James Huff Stout’s death, went to the state Legislature with a strong case for funding the new building, as well as some other improvements, and in 1913 received a $265,000 appropriation. The largest celebration in Menomonie’s history — with 3,500 local residents attending — followed the news.

Passage of the appropriation also put to rest an issue that had been plaguing Stout Institute for years: a proposal to transfer the school from Menomonie to Eau Claire.

A historic plaque on the exterior of the building identifies Harvey Hall.So while Bowman Hall and its iconic clock tower is the public face of UW-Stout’s history, the backbone of what the school would become is the former Domestic Science Building. Now known as Harvey Hall, it opened in 1916 and essentially was for female students.

Some 100 years later, the building, like the university, thrives. In fact, a ceremony is scheduled at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, to hold a grand reopening of Harvey Hall following a $28.3 million renovation.

“So much of UW-Stout’s history centers around Harvey Hall,” said Chancellor Bob Meyer, who as a student had classes there during the 1970s. “It is important that we preserve that history, while giving our students, faculty and staff a building that will serve them well for the next 100 years.”

When it opened, the building provided instruction and laboratory spaces for dietetics, apparel design and construction, and education. The fourth floor science laboratories facilitated student work in emerging scientific practices in their fields. The building now houses the College of Arts, Communication, Humanities and Social Sciences.

“The intent of the remodeling was to restore the building to its original architectural character while giving the campus a modern facility,” Meyer said.

Students cross paths near Harvey Hall's main entrance on the first floor.

River Architects of La Crosse created the design while Miron Construction of Neenah was the general contractor.  The work included:

  • Replacement and upgrade of all mechanical, electrical, telecommunications, and safety systems
  • Enhancement of ADA accessibility
  • Installation of new HVAC systems
  • Installation of a secondary electrical system
  • Upgrade of the existing elevator and installation of an additional elevator
  • Upgrade of restrooms
  • Repair of building exterior, including roofing replacement and masonry tuck pointing
  • Reconfiguration of classrooms and improvement of technology to meet current standards, provide better aspect ratios, increase course section enrollments, better accommodate laptops, improve room lighting and enhance comfort
  • Reconfiguration and reassignment of office space to meet current and proposed academic program needs

Maria Alm“Students, faculty and staff are thrilled with the remodel of Harvey Hall, which houses the largest number of general assignment classrooms on campus,” said Maria Alm, dean of the College of Arts, Communication, Humanities and Social Sciences. “The combination of grand historic architecture with modern classroom and laboratory facilities has resulted in a first-class learning environment.”

Meyer said having the building closed for about three years was very disruptive for the campus, especially for those with offices in Harvey Hall and those who had to find alternative classroom space.

“I appreciate what our faculty and staff went through during this time,” Meyer said. “But the results of the remodeling are awe-inspiring.”

Meyer thanked those in the UW-Stout Physical Plant for working so hard on the project, as well as the architects and general contractor. Miron Construction is owned and operated by David G. Voss Jr., a UW-Stout graduate.

The public is invited to the reopening ceremony, which will include remarks by UW System President Ray Cross, Meyer, Voss, Alm and Zenon Smolarek, the assistant director of UW-Stout’s Physical Plant. Master of ceremonies is Provost Patrick Guilfoile.

The event begins in the Clock Tower Plaza. The rain site is Harvey Hall Theatre, which was remodeled prior to the building renovation. Activities will include music, a ribbon-cutting ceremony, tours and a reception.



Second Photo: Harvey Hall is named for Lorenzo Dow Harvey, school president when the building opened.

Third Photo: Students cross paths near the main entrance on the first floor of Harvey Hall at UW-Stout.

Bottom Photo: Maria Alm