New halls progress after years of delay

Nathan Kober, Staff Writer

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents approved construction for a new residence hall at UW-Whitewater after  years of delays on Friday,
April 7.

The university expects construction to begin in April 2018 and the hall to open in fall 2019.

At a building plan meeting in fall 2016, the architects contracted for the project said the 2019 deadline is shorter than the average time frame for a project of this size.

Director of University Housing Frank Bartlett said the project has stayed on schedule.

“We still have the bidding process going forward,” Bartlett said. “But we are right where we want to be for now.”

The 410-bed hall is needed to help lessen the university’s long term housing shortage, as many of the other halls still
need renovations.

The housing shortage is expected to continue, as the university has leased off-campus housing for
450 students.

The new residence hall was included in the 2013-15 budget, but approval was delayed indefinitely by the State Department of Administration and Gov. Scott Walker after a $250 million
budget cut.

The UW-Whitewater master plan calls for renovating one residence hall annually for the next eight years.

These plans have changed due to substantial budget changes since UW-W released the Master Plan in 2011 that included four new residence halls. That plan also included replacing the  Wells
Towers, which are more than 60 years old. 
The $34 million project is on the agenda for State Building Commission Wednesday, April 26. Campus Planner Tami McCullough said the university must request permission to complete, design, bid and construct the project. 

“We do not anticipate any issues at this time receiving this approval,” McCullough said.

The plans for the six-story hall include suite-style living units with double bedrooms and shared bathrooms.

The new hall will be located on Warhawk Drive, on the North side of campus near Goodhue and
Fischer halls.

The hall has not yet been given a name.