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Rodli Hall renovation seeks to unite student services under one roof

November 5, 2018

For over a year, students living on the east side of UW River Falls’ campus have walked to class past a seemingly abandoned academic building, and more recently a construction zone. Since the Fall 2017 semester, Rodli Hall has sat vacant due to an extensive renovation project. As the work approaches completion, the specifics of the plan have nearly been made ready to implement.

Built in the 1960s, Rodli Hall has been used for multiple purposes over its lifetime. It was originally one of two dining centers on campus, the other being located Hagestad Hall. Rodli held academic classrooms and storage rooms. After the renovations are complete, Rodli will be used as a centralized location for student services.

“The plans are really to bring students together for collaboration and support,” said Sarah Nelson, Executive Director of Admissions and New Student and Family Programs. “I like the idea of bringing together all these areas that are currently spread across campus.”  

Rather than force students to visit multiple locations across campus for different resources, the new location will serve as a destination for all students seeking services. Applicants and visiting students are also an area of focus with the renovation. “It will showcase the resources for prospective students,” said Nelson.

Included in the 14 departments moving to Rodli are admissions and financial aid, both of which are at the forefront of visiting students’ minds. Nelson is not the only one excited for the improved student experience. Melissa Wilson, the Director of Career Services shared her enthusiasm as well.“It will make life so much easier for students,” said Wilson. “It may provide students with an opportunity to experience a resource they weren’t familiar with before,” she said.

Dale Braun, the Campus Planner, shared his thoughts on how the project will affect campus. “It will greatly increase the convenience factor for students seeking support services,” said Braun.

In addition to the services being moved, Braun expanded on the new collaboration spaces. While the first floor will be mainly dedicated to student services, much of the upper floor will be used for new collaboration stations.

Realizing the limited supply of study group spaces in the Chalmer Davee Library and the University Center, Braun saw it important to provide more options. “We know they’re full, so we’re giving students a second outlet,” Braun said.

There is no insight yet on what the empty space will be used for once the departments move. About 10,000 square feet will be left vacant from the move, a portion of which will be set aside for future undefined uses. Braun estimated that about 2,000 square feet will be given this classification, but the exact amount is unknown. It is known, however, that none of the vacated space from Hagestad Hall will be repurposed, as the building will be demolished in the near future.

The renovation is estimated to be complete by late fall of 2019. By January of 2020, student services are planned to gradually start moving to the new location. All services are planned to be operating in Rodli by Fall of 2020. More information and updates can be found at www.uwrf.edu/facilities/campusplanning.

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