Wisconsin commission approves UW-La Crosse project

WEST ALLIS, Wis. (WKBT) — The Wisconsin State Building Commission on Wednesday approved funding for a University of Wisconsin-La Crosse project to renovate Mitchell Hall, according to Rep. Jill Billings.

Billings, chair of the Higher Education Subcommittee of the commission, voted in favor of approving the funds.

“Construction on campus, means an uptick in jobs and our local economy,” said Billings. “I’m glad to have the opportunity to support this project to meet the needs of instructors and students on the UW-La Crosse campus.”

The $6 million project will renovate Mitchell Hall to expand and enhance three heavily-used instructional laboratories, used for UW-L’s athletic training programs. The current locker room, which Billings described as underutilized, will be repurposed into an athletic training lab and the former wrestling room will be converted into the new exercise and sport science lab. The existing human performance lab will be expanded.

“I always appreciate the opportunity to support building and maintenance projects on the UW-La Crosse campus,” continued Billings. “By updating the existing buildings on campus, we will ensure that students, faculty, and staff will continue to have a safe and functional place to work and learn into the future.”

This project will demolish most interior walls and the areas will be reconstructed into three large spaces with new ceiling, lighting, finishes, casework, and sinks along the perimeter walls where appropriate. A new air handling system, including air conditioning, will be installed as part of the project. These mechanical systems will be designed to accept future chilled water supply for cooling once the utility work for that supply is completed to the building.

The commission approved a total of $92 million in projects across the state.

“I am glad to be at State Fair Park with the State Building Commission today to approve these critical projects that support Wisconsin infrastructure from making spaces ADA accessible and improving energy conservation at UW campuses to regular maintenance and up-keep,” said Gov. Tony Evers. “Making sure our UW students and state agencies can benefit from updated spaces and needed maintenance will provide more equitable access and opportunities for students and the Wisconsinites our state agencies serve.”

Highlights of approvals include:

  • Constructing an addition at the Kohl Center for strength and conditioning, sports medicine, academics, nutrition and administrative functions, and renovating space to serve the men’s and women’s basketball, golf, hockey, swimming, and tennis programs, as well as the cheerleading and dance teams at UW-Madison;
  • Authorizing a project to add restroom facilities to holding areas at the Wisconsin Resource Center;
  • Releasing Building Trust Funds to begin planning for the water utility improvement project at Mendota Mental Health Institute, the Science/Health Science Building Phase 2 project at UW-Eau Claire, and the Engineering Building Replacement Phase 1 project at UW-Madison;
  • Improvements to the plumbing infrastructure and converting restrooms to be ADA accessible at Gruenhagen Hall on the UW-Oshkosh campus;
  • Authorizing 18 maintenance and repair projects located at various locations in 10 counties across the state for the Departments of Administration, Corrections, Health Services, Military Affairs, Natural Resources, Public Instruction, Kickapoo Management Reserve Board, and the UW-System; and
  • An energy conservation project to upgrade exterior lighting on the UW-Milwaukee campus to LED technology.

The full description of the projects can be found on the State Building Commission website here.