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Celebration of South Hall renovation, latest facility improvement, planned Oct. 12 at UW-Stout

Future university building projects include Recreation Complex addition, Heritage Hall renovation

By Jerry Poling, UW-Stout

Menomonie, Wis. — An open house to celebrate the latest facility upgrade at University of Wisconsin-Stout, the renovation of South Hall, is planned Thursday, Oct. 12.

The event, from 3 to 4:30 p.m., will begin with a dedication in the new courtyard, on the north side of the building, followed by self-guided tours of the student residence hall.

“Student success at Stout depends on what happens both inside and outside of the classroom, lab or studio, and this project allows students to live in an updated, dynamic and engaging environment,” Chancellor Katherine Frank said.

Family members help students move their belongings into South Hall at the start of the semester this fall. / UW-Stout

The $22.5 million refresh of the building includes updated restrooms and showers, room makeovers with new furnishings, new lounge and kitchen spaces, the latest technology, sustainability features, an elevator, and a new central entryway and courtyard facing the campus mall.

“This project has been a true collaboration and a joy to be a part of,” said Adam Ludwig, director of University Housing. “From student input on design and furniture selection to Stout student interns and alums on the general contracting team – this is a building by the students and for the students that is designed to meet their needs for many years to come.”

Construction majors Noah Gansluckner and Tommy Quinn were part of the Market & Johnson building crew. Alum Ryan Wichmann, 2010, was overall project manager, and Chad Schlough, 1997, was an HVAC manager for a subcontractor.

Students moved into the hall, which has 356 beds, in late August and early September for the start of fall classes.

A lounge space with natural light features a study table in South Hall. / UW-Stout

A new feature in the courtyard is an art space. The School of Art and Design and University Housing plan to unveil a new piece of student art annually at the site beginning in 2024, Ludwig said.

Justin Utpadel, UW-Stout director of Facilities Management, said the goal of the project was to “create spaces that foster relationship building, integrate sustainability and provide for an improved experience that supports student success.”

South Hall, built in 1967, is at the northeast corner of Broadway Street and 13th Avenue E. The project was approved by the State Building Commission in 2021. Construction began in May 2022.

The rain site for the South Hall event is Merle M. Price Commons, north of South Hall.

An updated kitchen for student use is part of the renovated South Hall. / UW-Stout

Rec Complex, Heritage Hall projects on the horizon

The next project on UW-Stout’s radar is a $30.5 million upgrade to the Recreation Complex, featuring an addition and new atrium on the west side of the Sports and Fitness Center building. If approved by the state, construction could begin in 2026 and finish in 2027.

Last summer, UW-Stout received full funding approval in the 2023-25 state budget for the $139 million renovation of Heritage Hall, an academic building. Bidding for construction will begin in fall 2024.

The Heritage project includes demolition of the oldest portion of the Vocational Rehabilitation Building, the university’s original library built in 1954.

Also last summer, the university’s largest solar photovoltaic array to date was installed at Jarvis Hall Technology Wing, part of a multibuilding solar and energy efficiency project.

Other recent facilities improvements

South Hall is the third recent residence hall renovation. McCalmont Hall reopened in 2014 and North Hall in 2019. Similar to those projects, silver metal cladding was added to portions of South Hall’s brick exterior.

Renovations of other residence halls on south campus are in the university’s capital plan. UW-Stout is developing a University Long Range Plan, an extension of its FOCUS2030 strategic plan.

Previously, renovations were completed on two north campus residence halls, Hovlid in 2010 and Fleming in 2012.

Other recent building renovations on campus have included Harvey Hall, Merle M. Price Commons and Bowman Hall, including the Clock Tower.

UW-Stout is Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University, with a focus on applied learning, collaboration with business and industry, and career outcomes. Learn more via the FOCUS2030 strategic plan.


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