MAILED: April 23, 1997|
EAU CLAIRE - The State Building Commission today approved University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's proposal to build a new residence hall and an upgrade to the Crest Wellness Center.
The new residence hall will cost an estimated $10 million and the Crest Wellness Center remodeling will cost about $557,000, said James Bollinger, assistant chancellor for facilities planning and management.
The new hall, which will help relieve the overload to current space and provide space for the expected upswing in high school graduates, should be ready for occupancy by the fall of 1999. Architects will begin design of the hall later this spring or summer, bids will be let next year, and construction would begin in the spring of 1998.
The hall will house 250 to 350 students, most likely juniors and seniors, in apartment-style suites, each with a small living area, cooking facilities, bathrooms and two to six bedrooms. The rooms will be wired for cable and computer access. The building will be air-conditioned and include seminar classrooms equipped for the latest instruction technology.
The Crest Wellness Center project will remodel approximately 9,100 square feet on the second floor of the building for the University Recreation Fitness Center and Sneakers' kitchen/food service area. Approximately 6,400 square feet of existing kitchen area will be remodeled to accommodate the weightlifting exercise equipment currently located on the first floor. A modest portion of the kitchen will be remodeled to accommodate food preparation needs for Sneakers, an alcohol-free eating and dancing establishment, Bollinger said.
The remodeling will allow the university's Public Safety Office to relocate to the first floor of Crest Wellness Center. Public Safety personnel have indicated that they want to be located on the upper campus, closer to the residence halls housing a majority of the students living on campus, Bollinger said, noting that the location will make interaction with students more convenient. The Parking Office will remain in its current location on lower campus.
Crest Commons was constructed in 1965 as a food service facility for students and academic support space for the allied health and nursing programs. Throughout the years, it has changed from a highly utilized food service facility to a multipurpose facility. Major remodeling of Davies University Center kitchen and dining facilities in 1991 significantly changed the emphasis of food preparation in Crest's kitchen. In 1994, the building's name was changed to Crest Wellness Center to reflect its present utilization. It currently houses University Health Services, the University Recreation Fitness Center, Sneakers, and a satellite office for Public Safety.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: April 23, 1997