Back to:
Current year's news releases

All news releases
News and information home

Construction of new university student center
to begin March 7

RELEASED: Feb. 25, 2011

student centerEAU CLAIRE — Construction of the new University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire student center will begin March 7.

Kraemer Brothers LLC, Plain, is the single prime contractor for the project. Construction will be coordinated by the Division of State Facilities.

Erection of construction fences will be the first step in the project, followed immediately by site preparation work.

"The beginning of construction marks a very exciting moment for all who have worked so hard to plan for this project," said Dr. Beth Hellwig, UW-Eau Claire vice chancellor for student affairs and chair of the Davies Center Redevelopment Committee. "To actually see our vision taking form will be extremely gratifying — I want to thank all the committee members, and especially our students, who spent the better part of two years planning for this," Hellwig said.

With the onset of construction, most of the Phillips parking lot will be closed for the duration of construction, said Kimberly O'Kelly, UW-Eau Claire Parking and Transportation Services coordinator. Of the approximately 423 spaces currently in the Phillips lot (including "GF" permit and metered spaces along the drives west of Phillips Hall and south of Davies Center), 309 spaces will no longer be available. The approximately 114 spaces remaining will be located on the east end of the lot directly south of Phillips Hall, and they will include disabled parking, loading zone, carpool permit, "GF" permit and "F" permit spaces, O'Kelly said.

The university prepared for the loss of parking by constructing a new metered parking lot between Zorn Arena and Schneider Hall. In addition, parking lot configurations were changed to provide student parking primarily in the Water Street lot and faculty and staff parking in the Haas Fine Arts lot, also on Water Street, O'Kelly said. A parking analysis conducted as part of the city of Eau Claire's review of the project showed the university has adequate parking to absorb the temporary closure of the Phillips lot during construction.

The student center construction project also will affect pedestrian access to the university's Nursing Building, said Christopher Hessel, construction project coordinator for UW-Eau Claire Facilities Management. Pedestrian access to the Nursing Building will change periodically, and the construction contractor will provide prominent signage to clearly direct pedestrians, Hessel said. Pedestrian access to the Nursing Building from the east will be along the south border of the Phillips parking lot or via Putnam Drive, access from the northwest will be via Putnam Drive and the university service road, and additional access routes will be available during different phases of the project, he said.

The $48.8 million new university student center project will replace the 51-year-old Davies Center, which will be deconstructed. The site of the existing Davies Center will be redeveloped as green space. The approximately 170,000-square-foot new student center will be funded through segregated fees, which are paid by students. No tax dollars will be involved in the development of the building.

The anticipated completion date for the project is summer 2012.

-30-

MR/JP/DW

Back to:
Current year's news releases

All news releases
News and information home

 

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.