University of Wisconsin-Stout

June 29, 2009

Gov. Jim Doyle gave his approval Monday to an $18 million renovation of the University of Wisconsin-Stout Memorial Student Center in Menomonie.

Gov. Doyle signed the 2009-11 state budget, one day before the end of the fiscal year. The budget includes enumeration of an $18 million renovation project for UW-Stout’s student center, which will be paid for entirely by student fees.

"The student center renovation was strongly supported by the students. I am very happy to see UW-Stout continually grow and expand, especially through a key building on campus,” said Phillip Rizzo, president of the Stout Student Association. “I expect this building to enable better communication between students, faculty and academic staff.”

“This is an important day in this long, long journey at UW-Stout,” said Chancellor Charles W. Sorensen. “The students made a wise decision in agreeing to fund this project, and the Legislature and Gov. Doyle also saw the value in it.”

Sorensen and other UW-Stout officials emphasized that the project will give the building a much longer life and provide students with a number of amenities that they have been asking for. For example, the project will give students a more open space where they can socialize, something that is lacking in the current facility.

The Legislature approved the major renovation project after it was recommended by the Joint Finance Committee. The UW System Board of Regents also has approved the project. The project will have to go back to the State Building Commission for design and construction authority. That meeting has not been scheduled.

George Acker, UW-Stout’s campus planner, said a request for architectural and engineering services has been sent to the state.

The Memorial Student Center was built in 1985. Since then it has not undergone major remodeling or upgrading. A 2001 study developed a master plan for dining service facilities in the center, and a needs assessment and programming feasibility study was conducted in 2006. A pre-planning report was prepared in October 2008.

The University Student Senate of the Stout Student Association last year passed a resolution to renovate the center, supporting bonding of $18 million through a segregated fee increase. The project then was included in the governor’s 2009-2011 capital budget.

The segregated fee increase to pay for the $18 million project will be about $47 for 2009-10, increasing to about $172 in 2011-12. It will stay at $172 over the life of the bond. In 2008-09, UW-Stout had the lowest segregated fees in the UW System.

The project includes:

• Upgrading the infrastructure of the entire building, including mechanical, HVAC, electrical, windows, plumbing, telecommunications and life safety systems.

• Renovating and/or relocating the food service venues: Grandview Terrace, The Pawn, Heritage Café.

• Relocating student organizations, student newspaper and student government functions.

• Upgrading architectural finishes and increasing natural light.

• Creating a campus community gathering space adjacent to student service areas, offering entertainment, recreation and dining opportunities.

• Adding student lounge space.

• Improving way-finding and creating a visual and physical connection between the first and second floors; a set of stairs will be added between the first and second floors.

• Relocating some meeting spaces and possibly the bookstore and service center.

• Upgrading the building entrance.

Approximately 35 percent of the project involves basic infrastructure repairs and upgrades. This work would be needed regardless of whether the building was renovated. In addition, the student center’s current infrastructure does not have the necessary electrical and telecommunications capacity to handle UW-Stout’s laptop program.

The project will meet requirements for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification. LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building project meets the highest green building and performance measures.

The tentative plan calls for starting construction in July 2010, with completion by August 2011.

For more information, contact Vice Chancellor Diane Moen at 715-232-1683 or moend@uwstout.edu or Assistant Vice Chancellor Phil Lyons at 715-232-1334 or lyonsp@uwstout.edu.