UW has shut down use of the Chazen’s Elvehjem building door, citing an engineering analysis revealing that the building’s stone cladding exterior could fall.

UW has installed temporary fencing and barriers, making the Elvehjem Building accessible only via the Chazen Building, Senior University Relations Specialist Greg Bump said in an email to The Badger Herald. All of the building’s entrances are blocked off and solely available for emergency exits.  

UW is taking these measures out of an abundance of caution, as nothing fell from the building and an engineering firm observed no imminently hazardous conditions, Bump said.

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UW will begin repairing the exterior of the Elvehjem in the summer of 2022. In the interim, 56 class sections held in Elvehjem have been relocated, impacting approximately 1,800 enrolled students, Bump said.

UW partnered with the Wisconsin Department of Administration to hire an architecture and engineering firm to to repair building exterior envelopes. Other buildings reviewed by the firm did not raise any concerns, Bump said.

This partnership is a routine aspect of maintaining and preserving UW’s facilities, Bump said. Similar partnerships take place across the state, according to the State of Wisconsin Building Commission.

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The Elvehjem opened in 1970 and houses Chazen Museum of Art administrative offices, galleries and art storage spaces. It also houses the Kohler Art Library, art history departmental offices and spaces for learning — including large lecture halls and seminar classrooms.