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Proposed Health and Human Performance building to improve campus

March 26, 2010

The proposed Health and Human Performance (HHP) building is expected to open in four years, but that hasn’t stopped those around campus from thinking about its benefits now.

According to campus officials, the new HHP building is expected to not only help bring in more prospective students, but also to help the recruiting of sports teams as well.

Football Head Coach John O’Grady has been familiar with the campus for a long time, being a student at the school in the 1970s. He said that not much has changed in the almost 40 years since he attended classes in the Emogene A. Nelson Center.

“Those classrooms we used back then have not changed except for the technology capabilities and the grease boards,” he said. “The heating systems still make the same noises they did back then and they tend to be too hot in both the winter and the spring.”

As for the football team, the new building will help them with the training the team does when they are not on the practice field. Currently, the team uses weight lifting equipment the most when not practicing on the field outside.

“With only one gym available to us we really are limited in what we can do,” said O’Grady. “Most of our time is spent in the strength and conditioning center and at the Knowles building.”

This could change, however, with the new HHP building opening up new facilities on campus.

“Having a new physical education center out at [Hunt Arena and Knowles Center] will make it a lot easier to transition from the Strength and Conditioning Center to the Knowles for flexibility, speed work and conditioning drills,” said O’Grady.

According to the campus report, the building is not set to open until at least four years from now. The building is scheduled to be open starting August of 2014, with the project finally closing out January of 2015.

According to the report, however, it could be as much as six years before the university can occupy the new building. An alternate plan, which is tentative on budgeting from the State of Wisconsin budget, could delay the completion until Aug. of 2016.

According to the building plans Web site, the HHP building will include some updated versions of much of the buildings already on campus, but will also include some new structures as well.

The new building will include a new gymnasium, a workout gym, racquetball courts, a workout area, offices, classrooms, locker rooms, support spaces and a lobby.

The new building is being planned to be connected to Hunt arena and the Knowles center. Alan Tuchtenhagen, associate vice chancellor for enrollment services, said he thinks that the new building could reflect positively not only on admissions but the University’s image as well.

“Students and their families are very interested in seeing the facilities that are available to our students,” he said. “Although the instructor doing the actual teaching is the most important, everyone likes to see the instructors and students in highly functional space.”

Tuchtenhagen also said that opening a new building can also help the University’s image for students considering attending UWRF, comparing it to the opening of the University Center.

“I feel that, just as the new University Center has had a very positive impact on our institutional image, a new HHP building would do the same,” he said.

With the building of the new HHP building connecting to Hunt Arena and the Knowles Center, some of the current campus facilities could be affected, according to the campus report. In the report, two different fields used by UWRF athletics could be affected.

According to the report, the softball fields “proximity to existing buildings may warrant relocation.”

The plan also states that some of the current practice fields used by the football and soccer teams would also be moved to accommodate parking.

The plan proposes that two fields be moved to the east side of the football fields, where an agricultural area currently stands, while two practice fields will still stand in the same area of their current location, but moved closer to the Kwik Trip Gas Station.

According to the construction, the proposed changes to campus could begin to take form soon, with construction starting March 2012, with an expected completion date of Aug. 2014.