Renovation projects underway on three university buildings

Bowman Hall, North Hall, Price Commons getting repairs, updates
Merle M. Price Commons, left, and North Hall, partially visible at right, are two of three building renovation projects at UW-Stout that will wrap up in 2019. / UW-Stout photos by Brett Roseman
​Jerry Poling | July 23, 2018

Driving past University of Wisconsin-Stout on Broadway Street in Menomonie this summer, it may look like much of the university is under construction.

Just three of the university’s 45 buildings are being renovated, however, but they happen to line one of the most visible and well-traveled parts of campus and the city.

They also happen to be three very important campus facilities. The projects, totaling more than $38 million, are:

  • Bowman Hall, the university’s oldest building including the iconic Clock Tower, exterior maintenance and repair, $8.95 million
  • North Hall, one of the main residence halls with 371 beds, renovation and additions, $21.74 million; funded with student fees
  • Merle M. Price Commons, the main student dining hall, first floor renovation, $7.57 million; funded with student fees

The projects began in late spring and are expected to wrap up in summer or fall 2019, with no winter work at Bowman, according to Facilities Management at UW-Stout. They were approved in June 2017 by the Wisconsin State Building Commission and previously approved by the UW System Board of Regents.

“These projects provide modern facilities for students while preserving part of our history and spending taxpayer and student dollars wisely,” Chancellor Bob Meyer said. “It is always better to renovate the facilities we have rather than build something new.”

Bowman Hall

Work on Bowman Hall, built in 1897 by school founder James Huff Stout, includes repairing approximately 24,000 worn and damaged bricks and stone accents; repointing, or replacing mortar between bricks across the exterior of the nearly five-story building; and installing new, historically accurate windows and doors.

The 135-foot Clock Tower, in addition to brick work, will undergo steel structural support repairs and get a new copper roof and upper level doors.

The lone interior project will be exposing part of an original ceiling in the one-story south annex, which houses Registration and Records offices. For more details on the project, see related story.

Renovation work is underway at North Hall.


North Hall

Renovation at North Hall, built in 1967, will encompass about 76,000 square feet and add about 14,000 square feet. Three small additions will house relocated mechanical operations, a second elevator and expanded bathrooms.

Project aspects include a new ground-level east entrance for better accessibility; new exterior features to match adjacent McCalmont Hall, remodeled in 2013-2014; bigger bathrooms and showers with more privacy; updated student rooms; expanded lounge and kitchen spaces; and updated HVAC systems.

North Hall is on south campus, at the southeast intersection of Broadway Street and 10th Avenue E.

Many students displaced by the construction will be housed on north campus in Jeter-Tainter-Callahan halls.

A construction fence stands in front of Merle M. Price Commons, the first floor of which is being renovated.


Merle M. Price Commons

Renovation at Merle M. Price Commons, also built in 1967, will encompass about 19,000 square feet on the first floor for various offices and student common areas.

As part of the project, the building will get new windows and stone window sills throughout; new entryways on the north, south and east sides; a refurbished patio on the west side, fronting Broadway Street; and some brick restoration work.

The second floor of the building, which includes the main campus dining hall for students, was renovated in 2009. Although construction won’t be finished until August 2019, the dining hall will remain open.



Top: North Hall, seen from the east side, is a 371-bed residence hall on south campus.

Bottom: The first floor of Merle M. Price Commons, seen from the east side, is being renovated, with some exterior work on the second floor.

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