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University of Wisconsin-Superior

Belknap and Catlin
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Superior, WI 54880

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Upgrade planned for two residence halls

Posted on May 10, 2011
Suites and single rooms will be among the changes when Ross and Hawkes residence halls undergo renovation in 2012-2013.
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Hawkes Hall will once again become a residence hall when it undergoes major renovation along with adjacent Ross Hall.

Hawkes Hall will once again become a residence hall when it undergoes major renovation along with adjacent Ross Hall.

By Brittany Berrens
University Relations student writer

With the addition of two new buildings and the renovation of two more, the University of Wisconsin-Superior campus has gone through a transformation in recent years. Now plans are in the works to renovate two campus residence halls to create a modernized campus living area.

"We've had great academic building and student life constructions," Dean of Students Vicki Hajewski said. "The next piece of it is to get the campus living environment up to that level."

Upgrades for Ross and Hawkes
An approximately $15.2 million renovation project will upgrade Ross Hall and convert Hawkes Hall from an office building back to its original function as a residence hall. The halls are located next to each other on Catlin Avenue five blocks south of the main campus. 

With the rising number of students attending UW-Superior, demand for campus housing is growing, said Residence Life Director Ryan Kreuser. Getting more students into campus housing also helps increase the focus on academics, he said.

A different campus environment
Hajewski said the renovations will create a different campus environment.

"It's going to improve the living environment and make those students feel like they are a part of campus," she said.

Adding suites and single rooms
The project will result in creation of  96 suite-style spaces, 80 single spaces and 264 double spaces. The newly renovated residence halls will be able to house 440 students -- that's up about 200 students from the number of students Ross Hall can currently accommodate.

While plans are still in the early stages, many features that will go into the project are the result of suggestions from students who have lived in the residence halls. One such feature is that the rooms in Hawkes Hall will have room-controlled air conditioning. Also, each floor in the two residence halls will have a kitchen, laundry room and lounge. Hajewski said this was something students wanted so each floor would feel more like a community.

Buildings joined by new lobby
One of the most notable changes that will be made to the halls is construction of a lobby that will connect the two buildings. Proposals for the lobby include a lounge that could contain a fireplace and couches and a front desk area. 

Another big part of the renovation will be replacement of the parking lot near Ross and Hawkes halls, which is included in the $15.2 million budget. 

Because tax dollars cannot be used to fund residence hall construction projects, the renovations will be funded by the additional student fees taken in from the approximately 200 students who will live in the halls. 

"The project, in a way, pays for itself," Hajewski said.

Planning the details next
The next phase in planning will be to figure out all the small details of what will go into the halls. That could be everything from where light switches are located to the type of furniture chosen for the lounges. Hajewski said student input is welcome throughout this process.

The renovations are expected to start in May 2012. Crews will first renovate Hawkes Hall over the summer break so students can be housed in the newly remodeled living space while renovations are completed at Ross Hall. Hajewski and Kreuser said they hope to have renovations to both residence halls completed by August 2013. 



News Contact: Al Miller | 715-394-8260 | amiller{atuws}
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