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Get Your Hands on Your Future
An effort to provide students at UW-Stout with modern residential facilities will receive a significant boost Thursday if, as expected, the UW System Board of Regents approves renovation plans for two campus housing facilities.
The board is scheduled to consider, as part of its 2013-15 capital budget proposal, a $7.9 million renovation of McCalmont Hall, 220 10th Ave. East, and $13.2 million to renovate North Hall, 124 10th Ave. East. The renovations are part of a 16-year residence hall renewal plan developed with the assistance of a consultant that called for infrastructure upgrades, redesigning bathrooms and stairwells and adding community spaces on each floor.
The residence halls on the north campus have been renovated, with major projects at Hovlid and Fleming, and a minor project at Wigen.
“The renovation of our current residence halls is part of University Housing’s strategic plan,” said Scott Griesbach, director of University Housing. “Today’s students are forward-thinking, innovative, and tech savvy, and we need to have campus facilities that meet their needs.”
Griesbach added that it “is much more cost effective and sustainable to renovate existing facilities rather than build new ones. By updating these facilities, UW-Stout is maintaining its commitment to preserving the environment.”
No taxpayer dollars will be used for the renovation projects; they will be funded by the housing fees that students pay.
“We are working hard to balance the needs of our students with our responsibility to maintain our existing buildings,” said Chancellor Charles W. Sorensen, in explaining why the university chose to renovate the halls rather than construct new ones. “These renovated halls will serve our students well for years to come.”
McCalmont Hall was built in 1963, has 144 beds and has never been renovated. It will have 184 beds after the renovation because some faculty offices will be moved from the fourth floor to other campus locations. The report prepared for the Board of Regents notes that the hall’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems are “deteriorated and obsolete,” and the restrooms and showers do not meet building codes.
The project includes small additions for expanded toilet and shower areas and for lounge and kitchen spaces. All of the building systems will be replaced, the toilet and shower areas will be expanded and updated, and all wall, floor and ceiling finishes will be replaced. An automated sprinkler system will be installed.
The project is scheduled to be completed in August 2014.
North Hall was built in 1967 and has 371 beds in three building “cubes.” The building’s heating and ventilation systems “perform poorly and require constant maintenance to sustain operations,” the Regents report said. The electrical system cannot handle increased student use of computers, and the plumbing system needed replacement.
The project includes new space on each floor for expanded toilet and shower rooms, as well as new stairs. The existing toilet and shower rooms will be remodeled into commons, lounges and kitchens. All of the building systems will be replaced, the toilet and shower areas will be expanded and updated, and all wall, floor and ceiling finishes will be replaced. An automated sprinkler system will be installed.
The project is scheduled to be completed in phases, with everything done by August 2016.
If approved Thursday by the Board of Regents, the proposal would go to Gov. Scott Walker for inclusion in his capital budget that will be sent to the Legislature early next year.