Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Construction to continue this summer

[media-credit name=’BRYAN FAUST/Herald Photo’ align=’alignnone’ width=’648′]construction_bf[/media-credit]While extensive summer construction may bring headaches to those staying in Madison, when University of Wisconsin students return to campus and downtown areas this fall, they will notice many changes.

The southeast campus area will be renovated with the demolition and reconstruction of University Square plaza, set to begin during the first week of June and lasting until 2008.

"There's a proposal now for a really fantastic mixed-use building," Ald. Austin King, District 8, said. "Commercial and retail space will occupy the first two floors, and a [private] housing tower with 350 units will be constructed above that."


In addition, the University Square project includes underground parking and widespread office space.

Gary Brown, director of UW Planning and Landscape Architecture, said a "university tower" comprised of the registrar's office, the financial aid center, an activity center and University Health Services will be moving into the tower, on the south side of the plaza.

Developers planned for the demolition, as the current one-floor retail building is not "a proper use of its space," according to George Twigg, spokesperson for Mayor Dave Cieslewicz.

"The reconstruction project calls for a taller, denser development," Twigg added.

Construction on the new residence halls will also continue over the summer recess.

Smith Hall, located on Park Street, is still under final construction, as its interior work is being finalized but will be completed for this fall's use, Brown said.

The Dayton Street residence project, which will become the new Ogg Hall, will be under construction from this summer until fall 2007, he added.

Many university buildings will also undergo construction over summer break.

The graduate business department in Grainger Hall, the medical engineering department and the University Hospital will all undergo additions beginning this summer.

"We're just going to continue to expand our residence facilities on campus and provide additional classrooms," Brown noted.

In addition to the changes taking place on campus this summer, some major construction projects are also scheduled in the downtown area.

The third of four phases of reconstruction on State Street will continue over the summer recess, which will reconstruct the 300 and 400 blocks.

During this project, contractor Daniels Construction will assemble a concrete sidewalk, curb and gutter, upgrade the water and sewage systems, and construct an asphalt road.

Additionally, new streetlights, advertisement kiosks, bike racks and trash receptacles will be installed.

"New water and a new sewer system is the main goal [of the project]," said Tom Laufenberg, project manager for Daniels Construction.

Despite the closure of State Street between Johnson and Gilman Streets, all businesses will remain open throughout the construction, and pedestrian traffic and sidewalk access will not be affected.

Though the reconstruction may be a nuisance to drivers, Twigg and King both said the temporary inconvenience will be worth it in the end.

"The reconstruction of State Street is probably one of the most important projects," Twigg said. "State Street connects the campus to the Capitol, it's a key route for traffic, and it's been badly in need of reconstruction."

In addition, the millions of dollars in reconstruction over the next few years will make the city more enjoyable, Twigg added.

Phase 3 of the State Street project, which will cost an estimated $3.3 million, is expected to be completed by Sept. 1, according to city construction engineer Bryan Manning.

Many even see the revitalization of both the downtown area and the UW campus as an investment in the city.

"The construction is part of the growing pains," King said. "But the growth in downtown Madison is really important."

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