December 7, 2001
Regents OK New UW-RF Residence Hall
The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents on Friday (Dec. 7) approved a new $9.95 million residence hall for UW-River Falls.
The hall, which will be paid for by students, will approach its final hurdle on Dec. 19 when it seeks approval from the State Building Commission, chaired by Gov. Scott McCallum.
Construction is expected to begin early Fall 2002 and be completed by Summer 2004, according to UW-RF Campus Planner Dale Braun.
Wenzler Architects from Milwaukee created the design, and there will be a bidding process to determine who will handle construction.
Regents were laudatory toward the new building, according to Virgil Nylander, UW-RF vice chancellor for Administration and Finance.
"They thought it was an extremely attractive building and fit in very nicely with the general architectural style of our campus," Nylander said. "They were very excited about coming to campus when it is opened."
The new residence hall will be the first built on campus since the Baby Boom years of 1966 saw the opening of Grimm and McMillan Halls. Some 2,200 students presently live on campus in nine buildings, all in double occupancy rooms. Another 1,300 students live off campus.
"The design of the building reflects the architecture of South Hall," said Braun. "It has a hip roof and tall, narrow windows, and it will be built of red brick and buff-colored stone, like that of South Hall and some other campus buildings.
"By using elements that tie together we are able to maintain a certain architectural continuity on campus, and new buildings will blend well with the old," he said.
The hall will be situated on the far east end of campus, south of Crabtree Hall. It will house 60 suites, each consisting of four private bedrooms, one bath, a living room and a kitchenette. Braun calls this transition living, because it is similar to apartment living, but it is still on campus.
"We wanted to create a living arrangement that offers students a little more independence," he said. "But we want to know they are safe and have good housing."
Braun said there is a national trend for students to live on campus, probably because it is more economical and more convenient than living off campus. There are no concerns about parking, there are no utilities to pay, and online internet access is provided.
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