72 Projects Underway for $10 Million at UW-RF
By Becky Wensel
UW-RF News Bureau
Seventy-two construction projects costing $10 million are progressing toward finalization this summer at UW-River Falls.
The projects range from as small as installing display cases in the Kleinpell Fine Arts Building lobby to the finishing of the new College of Education & Graduate Studies teacher education building. The cost of the facility alone is $6.5 million.
Most of the projects are funded with state tax dollars released by the State Building Commission, with the projects managed by the Division of Facilities Development of the Department of Administration in Madison. Some projects also include money from student user fees.
According to Waldo Hagen, director of facilities management, construction work takes place year round on campus; however the level of activity increases during the summer. Though not as busy as last year, the campus will still have its share of noise, dirt, dust, fumes and traffic to contend with this summer, says Hagen.
Hagen says construction projects are messy but he said that employees, students and visitors to campus will find that the end result was worth the temporary inconvenience.
One of the most visible construction projects is the new Teacher Education Building. The building project is on schedule, according to Tim Thum, who is managing the project for UW-RF.
Furniture is expected to arrive on June 28th, with minor maintenance items to be undertaken by the custodial staff. Faculty and staff are expected to begin moving into the new building on Aug. 1. Landscaping is underway and will be completed next year.
The remodeling of the third floor of South Hall is also nearing completion. The project cost $280,000 and is providing four new technology equipped classrooms along with an overhaul of the corridors. Currently, workers are finishing the floors and installing door frames and doors to the classrooms.
This project is on schedule and faculty and students will be able to occupy the third floor at the start of the fall semester.
Four residence halls are receiving new wiring this summer. The rewiring will provide each room with two computer accesses, new cable TV hook up, and a new phone system. The cost of this project is $420,000.
The four halls being rewired are McMillan Hall, Crabtree Hall, Johnson Hall, and May Hall. Work started on May 24 in McMillan and Crabtree Halls.
According to Thum, the project is off to a good start, but working on a tight deadline. The rewiring must be done by the time students move back into the residence halls at the end of August.
Stratton Hall and Hathorn Hall also are receiving some attention this summer. The work on these halls will be $1.4 million. The Stratton Hall bathrooms are being gutted and the shower and toilet facilities are being redone. The primary electrical wiring also is being redone in Stratton Hall. The center section of Hathorn Hall is having its primary electrical system redone this summer.
Some projects students and faculty will be seeing in the future are a Dairy Teaching Center, a new residence hall, and a performing arts center as an addition to the Hagestad Student Center.
The new Dairy Teaching Center will be located at the Mann Valley Lab Farm. The project is currently in the design phase with hopes of a groundbreaking in the Fall of 2000. The $3.5 center is expected to be completed by spring or early summer of 2001.
The new residence hall will be a suite style hall with four students per suite. This project is in the programming phase with an architect to be hired by the end of 1999 and construction beginning in 2001.
The Performing Arts Center addition to the student center is still in the planning stages with budgeting for 2001-2003.
Both the new residence hall and the performing arts center are being built using student fees.
Chancellor Gary A. Thibodeau says he is very impressed with the work efforts on campus as the improvements move forward on a timely basis. Thibodeau adds that UW-RF has been successful in maintaining the physical part of campus, which he says is necessary for faculty and students.
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