MADISON -- A state commission Monday, June 24, approved funding to repair and relocate trails in Pattison State Park washed out in last summer’s floods.

The $1.05 million authorized by the State Building Commission will construct new walkway structures and bridges and re-slope the Beaver and Little Manitou Falls trails to pre-flood conditions, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

The trails have been closed since flooding last August made portions difficult to use.

The swim beach at park also remains closed after flooding washed out State Highway 35 above the dam at Pattison, which drained Interfalls Lake.

The state anticipates that the flood-related damage to be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said R.J. Binau, director of the Bureau of Capital Budget and Construction Administration.

“FEMA funding is highly expected for this project, but FEMA pays on a reimbursement basis so the state must expend the funds first,” Binau told a commission committee.

Meanwhile, the state will fund the repairs from taxpayer dollars.

Construction is scheduled to begin in October and be completed in July 2020.

Signs and fences keep tourists away from certain areas of  Pattison Park on Monday, June 24. Areas of the park are still damaged after a flood in June 2018. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)
Signs and fences keep tourists away from certain areas of Pattison Park on Monday, June 24. Areas of the park are still damaged after a flood in June 2018. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

UWS receives Holden Hall funding

The commission also approved a $922,000 project that renovates classrooms, labs and a gallery at Holden Hall on the University of Wisconsin-Superior campus.

The change the public will probably notice most is moving an art gallery from the third floor to just inside the building’s entrance adjacent to the main parking lot, said Dustin Johnson, director of facilities management.

“Art work will be displayed on lighted glass shelving visible from the entrance hallway which should draw the public into the gallery,” where student and faculty, paintings, sculpture and other art work is displayed.

Holden Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)
Holden Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

Holden’s Manion Theater green room will be enlarged to accommodate a kitchenette, improve the changing rooms to make it “more user friendly” for student actors, Johnson said.

Other work includes reconfiguring a projection room in a 50-seat classroom to reclaim unused space and provide more seating and handicap accessible seating.

Two underutilized lab spaces and a small underutilized classroom will be combined into a large active learning space for art education.

“This will give the art education students facilities similar to the classrooms they will be teaching in (after graduation). It will have a real-life feel to it, something we don’t have now,” he said.

A classroom wall adjacent to the sculpture studio will be acoustically insulated to isolate the two spaces.

The project makes better use and updates the space, said Alex Roe, UW Systems’ Associate Vice President for Capital Planning and Budget.

“We only have $10 million (statewide) to spend on classroom renovation, so we want to put it in the place where classrooms have the highest use or will have the highest use ... We have some specialized spaces in Superior, a media lab and a (gallery) that probably doesn’t have high utilization … but we’re turning those spaces into active learning spaces to improve the learning experience for students,” she said.

The media lab is a widely used space for graphic design that will be modernized, Johnson said.

The project will be funded from taxpayer dollars.

Construction is to begin in May and be substantially completed for the fall semester 2020.