Major projects update

Wittich Hall undergoes construction to eventually house UWL's College of Business Administration.

Construction and updates continue into 2019-20 academic year

If you’ve taken a stroll through UWL’s campus over the past decade, there’s no doubt you’ve come across fenced off construction areas and workers in hardhats.

According to UWL’s Scott Schumacher: that’s a good thing.

Schumacher, UWL’s Associate Director of Planning and Construction, says there has always been one, if not two, major projects happening on campus during his 11-year tenure with the university and the consistent updating proves academics, enrollment and campus as a whole are thriving.

UW-System requires UWL to plan and prioritize projects in six-year cycles. Every two years, funding for those projects are approved or denied (or tabled for a future cycle).

There are two distinct areas of funding for UWL buildings and maintenance. General Purpose Revenue (GPR) and Program Revenue (PR). GPR are dollars provided by the state of Wisconsin and typically fund academic or administrative buildings. PR are funds provided by the program user which include residence halls, student life buildings and recreational facilities.

According to Schumacher, the following are important projects that people spending time on campus will notice:

Wittich Hall renovation

UWL’s former physical education building is being remolded to house the College of Business Administration. While the interior will look vastly different, the building’s exterior will largely remain the same says Schumacher. Construction will likely finish in the spring or early summer of 2020.  Schumacher says the renovation will also start a ‘domino effect’ of colleges, schools, departments and organizations moving around campus to better centralize their services.

Prairie Springs Science Center Phase II

Part two of UWL’s science center project was seemingly halted when funding was denied by the state earlier in 2019, but Schumacher says the university still plans to move forward prior to the next budget approval in 2021. He says UWL will fund the design process so biddable documents are available once the next budget is approved. Current plans call for the demolishing of Cowley Hall to make way for a new building to be connected to the Prairie Springs Science Center that opened in 2018. Schumacher says the current hope would be to start the Cowley Hall demolition and new building construction in 2022.

Fieldhouse and Indoor Soccer Support

Work on a new fieldhouse that will include space for athletics and recreation, as well as some academics is set to begin in the fall of 2020. The facility will include two multipurpose rooms, a training room, equipment storage, and men’s and women’s locker rooms. It will be located east of Roger Harring Stadium.

Mitchell Hall renovations

Big renovations that will improve Mitchell Hall’s functionality for current students are coming. According to Schumacher, work includes adding a Human Performance Lab on the second floor, creating an Athletic Training Lab in the lower level and turning the old ‘wrestling room’ into an activity classroom for the Exercise and Sports Science program. Schumacher says work will likely begin next summer but may be phased due to the scope of the project.

Residence Hall renovations

Updates to various residence halls at UWL are planned over the next few years. Most include updates to infrastructure, remodeled bathrooms, new carpeting and fresh paint. Laux Hall was completed in-time for the start of the 2019 fall session with work on White Hall to begin prior to the 2020 spring session. Updates to Sanford will start once White is finished with Wentz to follow. Currently there are no approved plans for a new residence hall although Schumacher says housing is a frequently discussed addition to campus.

Along with these major projects, there are also ongoing, smaller, less disruptive projects. For current information on campus projects, timelines and more, visit www.uwlax.edu/planning-construction/project-list.