The Advance-Titan

Projects on campus are near completion

UWO construction projects like the Reeve Memorial Union Fletcher Hall renovations and the RecPlex are expected to be completed by the beginning of fall semester.

Construction of the RecPlex is the main project over the summer.

The RecPlex building permit was approved October 11, 2016 by the Oshkosh Common Council and has been delayed in construction.

City of Oshkosh Planning Services Associate Planner Jeff Nau said despite city ordinance, the city gave special exceptions for the 70 ft. tall structure design.

“With the site being so large and taking up most of the area, they had to get what we call base standard modifications, which are variances to kind of bend the zoning ordinances a little bit,” Nau said. “The dome itself is higher than what is allowed in that district, so we gave them permission to build it.”

Nau said the only thing holding back construction following its approval in October was an unfinished lighting plan and concerns about stormwater removal.

“When they originally submitted for the RecPlex, their lighting plan wasn’t quite ready yet, so they had to come back,” Nau said. “But that’s all been resolved, so as far as I know they can break ground at any time.

The RecPlex was originally set to open fall 2017, but is now set to break ground January 2018, according to A-T reporter Alex Nemec in an April article.

A project already underway that is also slated to be completed in fall is the Reeve Union renovation.

Reeve Union Director Randall Hedge said construction is on schedule.

“Construction is now focusing on the last of the construction of walls, finishing roofing and enclosing the exterior with installation of glass,” Hedge said. “The project is on schedule and will open by fall semester.”

Hedge said students and guests will enjoy new landscaping and a patio, as well as larger, more modern features to the building.

“The new addition will feature an expanded student leadership and involvement center as you enter the building,” Hedge said. “It will be twice the size of the former space and will have offices, lounge space, meeting space, computer lab space and will be very open and inviting.”

Reeve Advisory Council President Kenzie Keena said now that the projects are taking shape, she looks forward to students reactions to the final product.

“I think now that the construction on the exterior of the building has begun, it makes the students more excited to see the finished result,” Keena said.

Keena said the council and the University do their best to be transparent about what is going on with projects on campus.

“At our biweekly meetings, we give the representatives on the council an update on the renovation,” Keena said. “When they are well informed, the representatives are able to give constructive feedback to help Randy Hedge and other administrators make sure that the renovation is headed the proper direction to please the student body.”

Hedge said the project will also improve the building by making it much more energy efficient.

“The facility is being built to achieve very high sustainability standards, and our goal is to achieve a ‘gold’ level of LEED certification,” Hedge said.

Hedge said despite schedule setbacks, the project has been keeping up with expectations.

“There have been some minor adjustments to schedule in working around the connection of utilities, which included some interruption of services to the building,” Hedge said. “Overall, the project is going well.”

A ceremonial opening is already scheduled for the fall semester but will be ready for the beginning of the school year, Hedge said.

“Dedication for the new addition is scheduled for Monday, October 9,” Hedge said. “The Reeve Advisory Council is working on a time capsule of items that will be sealed and installed in the wall on that day.”

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Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Projects on campus are near completion