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Home / Commercial Construction / UW-Eau Claire seeks contractor for renovation of massive Towers Hall (UPDATE)

UW-Eau Claire seeks contractor for renovation of massive Towers Hall (UPDATE)

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is seeking a general contractor to make renovations to its largest student residence hall.

According to bid documents released Friday, the proposed renovation of Towers Hall is expected to cost $27.9 million. The project will be the most extensive work to be performed on the building since it went up in 1966.

Bid documents call for renovating existing common areas and bathrooms, refurbishing elevators, renovating program areas on the ground floor and basement, replacing the building’s heating-and-ventilation systems and adding air conditioning, among other things.

Campus officials want the work to proceed in two phases. The residence hall’s southern tower will first be renovated, starting this fall. Its northern tower will be closed during the 2018-19 school year.

The entire renovation project is expected to wrap up before students return for the fall 2019 semester.

In separate bids, the university is also seeking contractors to perform asbestos abatement and mechanical, electric and plumbing work. Milwaukee-based Eppstein Uhen Architects is the architect.

The largest residence hall on the Eau Claire campus, Towers now houses more than 1,300 students. Because the proposed project calls for one tower to be closed at a time for an entire school year, university officials are making arrangements to provide alternative housing.

Some students will be lodged in the newly built Haymarket Landing downtown, and others will be placed in nearby hotels. UW-Eau Claire has relied on hotels in past years when it did not have enough rooms to accommodate all the students who had requested campus housing.

For more details, check out the posting in The Daily Reporter’s JobTrac section.

And the Towers renovation is not the only project UW-Eau Claire has planned for the near future.

University officials plan to break ground on a new residence hall next year. And they have two other big renovation projects waiting to receive money from the state. Those two projects, a $63.5 million renovation of the Haas Fine Arts Center and a $19.3 million overhaul of the Governors Hall dorm,  were deferred earlier this year by the state’s Building Commission.

All of this comes after the school saw the completion of the new W.R. Davies student center and Centennial Hall academic building. Beyond that, the university is working with the city and a local developer on the nearby Confluence project, which will add three theaters, art classrooms and more space for similar purposes.

Further down the road are plans calling for the demolition of two student resident halls on the university’s lower campus to make way for a new academic building. The school is also planning to work with the Eau Claire YMCA and Mayo Clinic to develop a new event center on a nearby riverfront property.

About Alex Zank, alex.zank@dailyreporter.com

Alex Zank is a construction reporter for The Daily Reporter. He can be reached at 414-225-1820.

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