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Summer is Time for Construction on Campus

[Photos] JUNE 17, 2005--Passersby will notice two tall cranes piercing the University of Wisconsin-River Falls skyline this summer during construction of the new student union. Both a 35-foot and a 55-foot Grove All-Terrain Crane are needed to shuttle building material from the ground up as the student union emerges.

Neon-green shirted workers with hard hats are busy at the site, south of Cascade Avenue and overlooking the meandering South Fork of the Kinnickinnic River that bisects campus.

"The shirts are a safety precaution so the crane operators can easily see the workers on top of the construction," says Jeremy Drake, a field engineer for Market & Johnson of Eau Claire, general contractor for the project. Other contractors include Halverson Bros. Plumbing & Heating of Menonomie, B&B Electric Inc. of Eau Claire and Scheck Mechanical Wisconsin Corp. (HVAC) of Kaukauna.

Plenty of yellow caution tape, orange fences and gates and gold signs warn of construction traffic as well as a closed area of the campus service road from Sixth Street west to Fourth Street. Vehicle access to Hathorn Hall and Wyman Education Building is restricted to the Third Street campus entry, but access to the Regional Development Institute is still available via Sixth Street.

The student union is scheduled to be completed by the spring of 2007. Designed to be economically and environmentally sustainable, the $34 million facility was funded entirely by student fees.

Knowles Addition
A 12,300-square-foot addition to the Knowles Physical Education and Recreation Building will be completed in time for the Kansas City Chiefs Summer Training Camp arrival at the University on July 28, says Tim Thum, UW-RF project engineer. The addition includes locker rooms, restroom and shower areas, a training room and work room, remodeling for offices and a laundry area as well as the installation of air conditioning.

Starting in late August, a new floor will be installed in the Knowles building. While the building is typically closed for public recreation in the summer, it will also be closed in the fall while the new flooring is installed. Call 715/425-3381 for revised hours; schedules are also available in the lobby.

New tennis courts are underway off the paved trail from campus to Knowles and the Ramer Field Sports Complex. The old railroad right-away trail also runs near the courts, which will be open to the public when not in use by university classes or athletic teams. Courts available to the public are also located at the east end of campus near the residence halls and the new George R. Field South Fork Suites.

Other Projects
The new George R. Field South Fork Suites will open its doors to student residents this fall, and meeting and conference rooms are already in use this summer. Community, staff and students previewed the hall at a dedication honoring former Chancellor George R. Field in May. Some 240 students will live in 60, four-person fully-equipped apartments. Each wing per floor also has a community kitchen, lounge area and laundry room. The $11 million facility was funded entirely by student fees.

Other construction projects on campus include removal of asbestos in North Hall, repair to campus sidewalks, and window replacement for older buildings including Prucha Hall and the Maintenance and Central Stores Building.

"We have about 60 projects going on," says Waldo Hagen, director of facilities management at UW-RF. "This is the busiest time of the year for us as this is the time when we can get into buildings with the least disruption for students, faculty and staff."

Both the Kleinpell Fine Arts Building and South Hall will receive new exterior doors. Masonry will be repaired at Prucha and Stratton halls, and the campus expects to resurface the Ramer Field track before the arrival of the Kansas City Chiefs.

"In addition to those projects, there are roofing, roads, parking lots and walk maintenance projects coming up," says Jim Murphy, facilities management engineer at UW-RF. Currently in progress is remodeling of the human resources offices in North Hall and various lab modernization projects, including in the Ag Science Building.

The River Falls Municipal Utility has begun a project to replace the sanitary sewer trunk main at the South Fork of the Kinnickinnic, Murphy said. "This will affect the campus in that there will be pipe extended on the surface near the stream, from the Ag Engineering Building on the west end of campus to a point upstream near the campus heating plant."

The project has necessitated lane restrictions on South Main Street near the bridge over the South Fork.

"Visitors will notice the pipe," says Dale Braun, campus planner. "Atypical of most projects, this pipe will be constructed on blocks above ground, one long piece stretching almost the length of campus. Its construction has been coordinated to prevent lengthy closures of the walking trails near the Wall Amphitheatre and heating plant. Once all put together and tested, it will be pulled into a hole directionally bored to the west. The project should conclude in the fall."



Last updated: Tuesday, 22-Jun-2010 16:21:24 Central Daylight Time

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