|Magazine of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls
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LIVING THE PROMISE:
Investing in Facilities
by Robert J. Hughes
One of the goals of UWRF's Strategic Plan, “Living thePromise,” is to invest in the facilities to support the University's mission. Evidence of this pursuit can be found in current and future projects.
In addition to the new University Center, which opened in January 2007, the Dairy Learning Center, which opened in October, is one of the most recent endeavors that offers students a more productive learning environment. The center provides two 25-student classrooms and can be opened for larger events, workshops and conferences. The center features an environmentally sound and cowfriendly composted bedding housing system for more than 100 lactating cows, a minimal-use wastewater system, and an automated StepMetrix lameness detection system.
Construction begins this summer on a chilled-water loop system to replace the stand-alone cooling units in Centennial Science Hall, Kleinpell Fine Arts Building and the Chalmer Davee Library, providing more efficiency. Walking paths around the buildings may be disrupted over the summer, but CSH and the library will remain open.
KFA also will have its ventilation system upgraded and will be closed during the summer. Offices that must operate throughout the summer will be temporarily relocated to the area occupied by Text Book Services, which moved to Hagestad Hall in April.
Recently, Hagestad Hall has become the new home of Global Connections, Athletics; and it now permanently houses the Career, Counseling and Student Health Services offices. The move will open up approximately 40 beds in Hathorn Hall, where bathrooms will be refurbished over the summer.
The “yellow” computer lab in the library will be remodeled into the Banks Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry, a new center to act as a catalyst in bringing academic disciplines together to collaborate on academic programs, research and outreach.
Several projects are on the drawing table, with funding approved for planning of a new Health & Human Performance Building. Karges Center, currently housing the HHP department, was deemed inadequate for current and future needs over a dozen years ago. UWRF maintains the only K-12 physical education teacher certification program in Wisconsin accredited by the National Association of Sport and Physical Education. The building is a top priority for students, and UWRF will be seeking construction funding in the 2009-11 biennial budget.
In the past 18 months, alumni, students and friends have responded with approximately $1.2 million in gifts and pledges for the Ramer Field Renovation. That includes a $500,000 commitment from UWRF students, who voted this spring to tax themselves for the purchase of new lights and artificial turf. An architect has been hired and an official rendering of the project will be available by June 1. The renovation has gained enthusiastic support from former Falcon football players who are working together to make the plans a reality.
Students have flocked to the new George R. Field South Fork Suites apartment-style residence hall since it opened in 2005. An expansion that will double the size has been approved by students and the Legislature. Planning will begin soon with possible groundbreaking in the fall 2009.
Some students are asking, “What is happening with the old Rodli Commons?” According to Stifter, David Rodli Hall will remain closed until the most efficient use is determined through a master planning process.
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