Zorn Arena receives facelift
When Blugold basketball fans flock to Zorn Arena this coming season they'll see a refurbished Ken Anderson Court. The basketball court underwent a full facelift this summer: old varnish finish and paint were removed, and the court was sanded, painted and refinished.
The floor project is the centerpiece of a number of recent and ongoing improvements to Zorn Arena, funded by Ken Anderson Court contributions to the UW-Eau Claire Foundation, along with state and campus funds. Other upgrades include new banners commemorating championships won by UW-Eau Claire men's and women's basketball teams;banners of all Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference teams;vinyl stairwell coverings featuring the Blugold athletics "E" in the landing areas;refurbished men's and women's locker rooms;a remodeled Gold Room;interior and exterior signs and graphics;energy-efficient lighting;and an improved sound system.
Education building named, project on schedule
UW-Eau Claire's newest academic building, formerly referred to as the education building, has officially been named Centennial Hall.
Construction of the state-funded $44.5 million Centennial Hall is proceeding toward on-time completion in late November 2013, with the first classes in the facility scheduled for spring semester 2014.
The approximately 182,000-square-foot building, located between Schneider Hall and Zorn Arena, will house UW-Eau Claire's College of Education and Human Sciences administrative units;significant new classroom space for use by the entire campus;the departments of education studies, English, foreign languages and special education;and select student support services.
The Centennial Hall project also includes the redevelopment of the Central Campus Mall. Features of the restored mall will include a central hub gathering space and relocating "The Sprites" sculpture from its current location just northeast of Schofield Hall to the hub.
State budget includes new projects
Two UW-Eau Claire projects are included in the 2013-15 state capital budget: a new upper-campus residence hall and Garfield Avenue corridor improvements.
The new residence hall project will include construction of an approximately 350-bed, semi-suite style residence hall, the first of its kind at UW-Eau Claire, on upper campus. The building will provide single rooms with shared bathrooms and include recreational, study and community amenities typical to student residence halls.
The new residence hall is needed to meet ongoing student demand for university housing. The shortage of space in residence halls this fall again resulted in study lounges being converted to living quarters and nearly 190 students being housed in local hotels and The Priory (the former St. Bede's Monastery).
The $35 million residence hall will be funded by housing fees paid by students.
The Garfield Avenue improvement project will reconstruct Garfield Avenue from the endpoint of the city of Eau Claire right of way near the Ecumenical Religious Center to the base of the hill leading to upper campus.
Work will include improvement or replacement of major utilities, roadway surface, curb and gutter, sidewalks and lighting. The roadway will be realigned to allow reconfiguration of the south end of the Chippewa River footbridge for better pedestrian and bicyclist safety and handicap accessibility. Project work also will include renovation of the Roosevelt Avenue cul-de-sac and construction of a campus gateway, and creation of an outdoor classroom at the site of the current Putnam parking lot.
The $12.4 million project will be paid for with a combination of state and program revenue (non-tuition, non-tax dollars) funds, gifts and grants.