University of Wisconsin-Stout

Dec. 19, 2007

The Wisconsin State Building Commission Wednesday removed the last obstacle for the renovation and expansion of the Jarvis Hall Science Wing on the University of Wisconsin-Stout campus.

The commission, meeting in Madison, unanimously approved the design report for the project and increased the total budget for the project by $8.1 million. The total cost now is estimated at $43.2 million.

“It is a key part of our long-range plan,” Chancellor Charles W. Sorensen told the commission’s Higher Education Subcommittee in the state Capitol about the Jarvis Hall project.

Sorensen indicated that the new building would be the home of a revamped college that will encompass science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It will be the home of emerging areas of biotechnology and nanotechnology, he said.

The project has a long history, dating back to at least 1998 when the regents approved sending the project to the Department of Administration and Building Commission for consideration. It was included in the state’s 2005-07 budget at a cost of $45.2 million, but eventually was approved at $40.6 million. Because the overall capital budget of the UW System was reduced by $10 million, the project was cut further to $35.1 million.

But officials decided during the design phase that the reduced budget would not be sufficient for the programs planned for the project. The alternative project would have reduced the number of classrooms, eliminated some laboratory space and left some laboratory space unfinished. Officials said that would have created an immediate need for a future project to complete the missing portions of the original project, which would have added to the total cost.

“We need to move forward with this project,” David Miller, UW System assistant vice president for capital planning and budget, told the subcommittee. “We strongly support doing the right project.”

The project has two parts: Remodeling 66,400 square feet of the current building and adding a three-story addition with 90,900 square feet. There will be space for science instruction, research, general classrooms, as well as space for the mathematics, statistics and computer science department.

An obsolete wing with 11,400 square feet will be demolished.

The project also includes renovating the plumbing, ventilation, electrical and telecommunications systems in the existing building.

Bids are scheduled to be opened in the spring, with construction beginning this summer. The project currently is scheduled to be completed in February 2011, although there would be some occupancy in August 2010.