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May Hall remodeling will accommodate for student living

December 7, 2018

This summer UW-River Falls will begin preparing for the reconstruction of May Hall; come spring of 2020 construction will officially launch. Major modifications will be made to the building including updated heating systems, remodeling the basement, and remodeling the lobby.

Many students have been concerned if there will be sufficient housing available during the reconstruction. Occupancy across campus is typically lower come spring semester due to student teaching, studying abroad, exchange programs and graduating seniors. Karla Thoennes, the interim assistant chancellor for student affairs and director of Residence Life, said, “The University of Wisconsin-River Falls isn’t worried about if they’ll have enough dorms for students come spring.”

In fall of 2019, May Hall will remain available to students who wish to live on campus. Residence Life is encouraging people to live in May Hall, especially those who plan to participate in student teaching, studying abroad, exchange programs or are graduating seniors. According to Thoennes, “The incentive is that they [students that choose to live in May Hall] get first pick on rooms, and our hope is to fill the building with upper class or returning students who already know what’s going to happen verses assigning first year students”.

As far as the student organizations that are found in May Hall, they will be moving into new locations on campus. Honors Living-Learning Community will be living in Johnson Hall instead of May Hall next year, and the global living community will be suspended for next year so they can reevaluate and work more with the International Education Office on developing more of a collaborative program. Thoennes also said that exchange students will be most likely be placed in May Hall next year due to meeting the criterion of only being here for one semester.

The Nelson Center, which is physically connected to May Hall, will be torn down as an extension from the Falcon Center project. A new lobby area will replace some of the space that the Nelson Center was. It will have an elevator to make it handicap accessible and a fireplace for comfort. The entrance that faces Mariachi Loco will be removed and turned into an outdoor patio which will also possess a fireplace. Thoennes stated, “We know we need to work on the heating system so we will be redoing the heating system, and if the budget allows we will also put central air in as well.”

Last but not least, a long overdue update to the basement will include egress windows in order to allow in natural light, as well as a new and updated kitchen space.   

The construction is estimated to be completed by August 2020 with an estimated cost of $7 million. If students or family members have questions about room and board when it comes to May Hall in 2020, contact the Department of Residence Life by email at reslife@uwrf.edu, by telephone at 715-425-4555, or in person from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday in B3 East Hathorn Hall.