Clow Hall renovations near completion


Courtesy of UWO Flickr – “Construction workers renovate Clow Hall, which is set to open next semester. College of Education and Human Services Dean Linda Haling said that the newly renovated building will be a massive upgrade to students.”

Josh Lehner, Assistant News Editor

UW Oshkosh Chancellor Andrew Leavitt signaled the finalizing of the Clow Hall renovation project during his recent town hall, saying that it’s under budget and on schedule to open next semester.

“As the major renovation project enters the home stretch toward completion, its positive immediate impact on student learning, teaching and programmatic advancement comes into even clearer focus,” Leavitt said. “We will help teacher preparation at UWO make a huge leap by integrating new technologies and modern, collaborative classroom and lab spaces.”

The 16-month-long renovation is the latest iteration of the Clow renovation project that began over a decade ago.

Clow I (or phase I) began in 2011 and renovated the nursing section of the building. Clow II (or phase II) renovated the College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) section.

COEHS Dean Linda Haling said that one of the most important additions will be the “simulation labs,” which are modeled after elementary classrooms. These labs will include a literacy-focused room, an elementary education lab and a science education lab.

Special education majors will have an assistive technology lab that will demonstrate how to use technology aimed at assisting students with disabilities.

“Some of these features will be hearing loops for anyone who has a hearing impairment,” Haling said. “They will have microphones, specialized lighting and paint on the walls. The furniture upholstery simulates what should be in a classroom for students with disabilities. Anything to do with sensitivities, they’ll be able to demonstrate how those spaces will be designed to accommodate people with impairments.”

One of the renovation’s most unique features, Haling said, is the literacy classroom — a one-way-glass room that functions as an observation space. From behind the glass wall, teacher candidates can watch tutoring sessions between students and teachers.

“They’ll be able to observe a tutoring session and, at the same time, the teacher candidate and the instructor can discuss live what the teacher on the other side of the glass is doing,” she said. “That’s pretty unique, and I think that’s something that will benefit especially our elementary and special education students.”

Haling said the new building will provide new technology that’s more interactive and indicative of a modern learning environment.

“The space in which we taught before was very antiquated,” she said. “What gets us to spaces that we didn’t have before is more of the simulations and the technology integration, like the assistive technology and science labs. I can’t say for sure what the general access classes will look like, but I believe that they will also be designed to be more interactive.”

Special and early childhood education is one of the departments that will directly benefit from the renovated building. Stacey Skoning, the department chair, said that her department will gain a myriad of new technologies to assist student learning.

“We will have a brand-new assistive technology lab in the renovated building, along with an additional model classroom,” she said. “Both will feature a range of accessibility options. The lab will eventually be home to a reading room … Our teacher candidates will also have the opportunity to learn about the use of assistive technology to support communication, motor and academic needs of their students.”

Haling said the renovation benefits the university as a whole — not just COEHS students. Some of the benefits include gathering places for students to study and general access classrooms. Previously, she said that parents who would walk through the previous building would find it antiquated.

“One of the most important aspects of this renovation is it shows parents and students that we value education at UWO because we have invested into spaces where they will learn,” Haling said. “It absolutely places a value on education and gives teacher candidates the environment they deserve.”