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UW-Eau Claire projects included in approved UW System capital budget request

Two major UW-Eau Claire building projects are included in the UW System 2017-19 capital budget request approved Aug. 18 by the system’s Board of Regents.

The capital budget request will be submitted to the Wisconsin Department of Administration for consideration in the 2017-19 state budget.

Haas Fine Arts Center addition and renovation, Phase I

The UW System requests enumeration of $63,504,000 in General Fund-supported borrowing to construct an addition to and renovate portions of the Haas Fine Arts Center at UW-Eau Claire.

Project description and scope

Haas Fine Arts Center was constructed in 1970. Only minor repairs and renovations have been completed since original construction. This project constructs 95,031 gross square feet and completely remodels and renovates 12,578 gross square feet. New and renovated spaces include two general assignment classrooms, a ceramics studio, a sculpture studio, a wood shop, rehearsal space for choral and instrumental ensembles, an art gallery and theatrical prop storage.

The lighting controls in Gantner Concert Hall will be replaced. The new art studios will include the specialized spaces for materials handling, storage, and ventilation separation not currently available in the facility and necessary to meet occupancy and safety requirements. Circulation and wayfinding throughout the building will also be improved, as well as ADA accessibility.
Exterior improvements include roofing and windows replacement, selective tuck-pointing and masonry repairs.

This project proposes Phase I of a three-phase capital project approach to resolve the quantitative and qualitative deficiencies of the fine arts programs. All three phases were conceived and planned at the same time, eliminating the potential for repeating portions of the work in multiple phases. By completion of Phase III, the existing building will be completely renovated, and 34,500 gross square feet of obsolete art wing space that is not worth reinvestment will be demolished.

Project development occurred simultaneously with the Eau Claire community's planning of the Confluence Arts Center planned for downtown Eau Claire. The project request considers the new theater facilities that will be available to the university at the Confluence Arts Center as a replacement of the obsolete campus facilities at Kjer Theatre.

Governors Hall addition and renovation

The UW System requests enumeration of $19,307,000 in program-revenue-supported borrowing to construct 12,100 gross square feet of new space and renovate 65,283 gross square feet of Governors Hall at UW-Eau Claire.

Project description and scope

Governors Hall has two four-story wings that have a common first-floor main entrance and lobby. This project redesigns and reconstructs the lower level (including footings and foundation) to accommodate a new elevator and make the first floor entrance ADA accessible.

Above the reconstructed lower and first floor, the two wings will be joined on every subsequent floor with an elevator lobby. Restrooms will be relocated to the new lobby space on every floor and will be designed for ADA access. First-floor restrooms will be expanded in their current location to provide accessibility. The space vacated by the existing restroom facilities on each of the upper three floors will be converted into five resident rooms, adding an additional 30 beds to the total building inventory.

The project includes replacing all mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems and associated fixtures. A new fire sprinkler system and air conditioning will be installed. The roofing system and all exterior windows will be replaced. Selective tuck-pointing and repairs will be made to the exterior brick walls and flashing, and joints will be resealed.

Governors Hall was constructed in 1962. It is one of the oldest housing units on the upper campus and has never undergone a comprehensive renovation. This renovation will increase capacity from 310 students to 340 through the conversion of existing restrooms to resident rooms.

Photo cutline: An addition to and renovation of UW-Eau Claire's Haas Fine Arts Center is one of two major building projects included in the UW System 2017-19 capital budget request approved Aug. 18 by the system’s Board of Regents.

For additional information contact Mike Rindo, UW-Eau Claire assistant chancellor for facilities and university relations, at 715-836-4742 or