Harvey Hall renovation project on schedule for 2016 reopening

By University Communications
June 26, 2015
Zenon Smolarek, Physical Plant assistant director, explains construction in a hallway in the lower level of Harvey Hall.

Photo: Zenon Smolarek, Physical Plant assistant director, in Harvey Hall.

The largest, most expensive and longest building renovation project in University of Wisconsin-Stout history is nearing the halfway point.

Work is on schedule at Harvey Hall, with completion expected in late spring 2016. A grand reopening is planned for fall 2016, the building's 100th anniversary and the university's 125th.

"Harvey Hall is an integral part of UW-Stout and its history," said Chancellor Bob Meyer. "We all look forward to enjoying a renovated Harvey Hall for many years to come."

Four classrooms are scheduled to reopen in late January for the spring 2016 semester, according to Zenon Smolarek, Physical Plant assistant director who is overseeing the project.

The building has been closed since January 2014, when the project began with asbestos removal.

Harvey Hall, five levels, is the largest academic building on campus. The $28 million project is a top-to-bottom renovation including remodeled classrooms and offices;new infrastructure and historically correct 9½-foot-high windows;brick tuck-pointing and exterior cleaning;and the addition of a first-floor food and lounge area.

The location of classrooms and offices are being reversed, with classrooms moving down to the first two floors and offices to the third and fourth floors. Fourth-floor skylights, part of the original building, are being restored. Hallways again will have 13-foot ceilings, with drop ceilings removed.

A mechanical room has been added to the roof. A second elevator, part of the original building, is being installed, partially necessitating the rooftop addition because the old, unused shaft was housing some mechanical operations. Heating and cooling efficiency also will improve.

Construction workers have found several old items during the project, including animal bones under the building;glass bottles;soda cans;and a 1969 memo encouraging faculty and students to hear a speaker on campus.

The project actually is the second phase of the building's renovation. Harvey Hall Theatre reopened in April 2011 after a $5.6 million upgrade. The theater has been closed during the current project.

Harvey Hall originally was named the Domestic Science Building when it opened in 1916 and then the Home Economics Building.

It was renamed in 1952 after Lorenzo Dow Harvey, the school's first president from 1908 to 1922. The building, the third academic structure on campus, was erected while Harvey was president.