UWS landscape continues to change after wave of constructionThe University of Wisconsin-Superior’s biggest wave of construction in 40 years may be over, but the campus community will still see several significant projects in 2012, as two buildings get new life, two others disappear, and a new greenhouse marks the conclusion of the Swenson Hall project.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
The University of Wisconsin-Superior’s biggest wave of construction in 40 years may be over, but the campus community will still see several significant projects in 2012, as two buildings get new life, two others disappear, and a new greenhouse marks the conclusion of the Swenson Hall project.
First on the slate is the dismantling of Sundquist Hall. Passers-by may have noticed the windows coming out of the 61-year-old building on Catlin Avenue in early January. Once they were out, the contractor found additional hazardous material needed removal, according to UWS Facilities Management Director Tom Fennessey. That stalled the demolition of the building for a few weeks. Fennessey said utilities to the site will be cut today and demolition is expected to begin Monday. The new green space will be held for future development projects, Fennessey said.
Across the street at McCaskill Hall, hazardous waste abatement is nearly complete. The building is scheduled to come down immediately after Sundquist Hall.
Sundquist Hall was originally a men’s residence hall, but it served for several decades as a faculty office building. McCaskill Hall was built in 1957 as an elementary school, but it served as a college classroom and lab building for several decades. The offices in both buildings have moved to Swenson Hall, making Sundquist and McCaskill halls obsolete. One of the goals for the project is to recycle at least 50 percent of the materials from both buildings. The demolition was funded through the Swenson Hall project.
When McCaskill comes down, the greenhouse that was connected to it will be put on what Fennessey calls “life support.” Temporary utilities will be hooked up until a new greenhouse is built. The new building is slated to be ready by the beginning of the fall semester, at which time the old one will be razed.
“Those plants are part of the classroom and are used in the classroom,” Fennessy said. “We are aware of that.” So it’s critical to have the new structure, which will retain the name Stanley Oexemann Greenhouse, ready in time. He said work on the new greenhouse should begin in late April. It will be about 450 square feet smaller than the current building, but it will include a “tall house” portion to accommodate large plants.
On the university’s southern section of campus, Hawkes and Ross halls are getting a makeover to provide more on-campus housing. There is a growing demand for on-campus housing and student-driven demand for housing with more amenities, according to Ryan Kreuser, campus residence life director. Preliminary architectural drawings are under review for the project that will link the two buildings with a central lobby.
The lobby, Fennessey said, will be a central hub for both residence halls.
“It’s like the living room of the two buildings,” he said.
Groundbreaking likely takes place in July for the first half of the project — converting Hawkes Hall from an office building back to its original use as a residence hall and construction of the lobby with completion expected in December.
Once Hawkes Hall is done, students residing in Ross Hall will move Hawkes Hall for the second phase of the project. Ross Hall renovations could start in January and should be complete in August 2013.
The Ross-Hawkes renovation project will create 96 suite-style spaces, 80 single spaces and 264 double spaces. The residence halls will be able to house 440 students —about 200 students more than Ross Hall can accommodate now. With an estimated cost of $15.2 million, student fees pay for the renovation costs.