Three UW-L building projects approved

Aug. 22, 2014

The UW System Board of Regents approved more than $62 million in capital projects on the UW-La Crosse campus during the board’s meeting Aug. 22, at UW-Oshkosh.

The $62 million includes three building projects: a $7.6 million Recreation Eagle Center addition, a $30 million residence hall and a $24.6 million Wittich Hall renovation.

“These are three critically important projects for the future of our university and we’re delighted the Regents have given us approval to move forward,” says UW-L Chancellor Joe Gow. “In particular, the Wittich building is in dire need of renovation. It’s almost 100 years old and we are thrilled that it will be modernized to serve as the new home for our College of Business Administration.”

The three projects will be funded through student fees and university program revenue; no state tax money will be used.The projects will also help meet the demands for recreational activity space and housing for students.

“More and more of our students want to live on campus because we have such great residential programs,” says Gow. “Right now we are unable to meet the demands for housing, so this new residence hall will be a welcome addition.”

image of the new residence hall architectural rendering.
What: New 112,000-square foot residence hall
The project constructs a four-story, 300 bed, semi-suite-style residence hall that will provide living units with double occupancy bedrooms; shared bathrooms; common spaces on each floor for lounges, kitchens, study rooms and more.
Where: The northwest side of campus on 14th Street, across from Whitney Center.
When: Construction to start in 2016 with completion in 2018.
Why: This project provides additional residence hall space to alleviate the severely overcrowded housing situation and better accommodate the increased requests for student housing. It will also allow for the staggered renovations of eight outdated residence halls in future years.
Cost: $30 million. Paid for through program revenue. No state tax dollars will be used.
What’s next: State building commission review in March 2015.

Artwork of REC.What: Recreational Eagle Center — 29,800 square-foot addition.
The first floor of the two-story addition will include enlarged strength training space, large multipurpose recreation rooms and related support spaces such as locker rooms and rest rooms. The second floor will include a larger, multi-use space to allow for activities such as fitness classes.
Where: Southwest corner of the Recreational Eagle Center.
When: Construction to start in spring 2016 with completion in spring 2017.
Why: A survey distributed early spring semester found that 92 percent of the 1,940 respondents thought the REC was so congested it hindered their ability to workout. Students then overwhelmingly approved an expansion in an online vote in spring 2014. The expansion is designed to help students meet their recreational, social and wellness needs.
Cost: $8 million. Students pay an additional $14 a year in student fees to pay for the facility. No state tax dollars are used.
What’s next: State Building Commission review in March 2015.

Historic images of Wittich HallWhat: Wittich Hall renovation.
This project completely renovates historic Wittich Hall, which was originally constructed in 1916 as the campus physical education building.
When: Construction is expected to start in 2016 with the goal of reopening the building in fall 2017.
Why: The building, in its current state, is severely deteriorating. The building will become the College of Business Administration and Small Business Develop Center’s new home. The CBA is currently located throughout Wimberly Hall and in the Wing Technology Center, causing the college to lack a strong identity and proper facilities to aid in new student recruitment. The historic integrity of Wittich Hall, a building on the Federal Register of Historic Places, will be preserved.
Cost: $24 million. Funded by program revenue dollars. No state tax dollars used.
What’s next: State Building Commission review in March 2015.