Commission approves $4.5 million project at UW-Whitewater

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Kevin Murphy/Special to the Gazette
Wednesday, March 5, 2014

MADISON--The State Building Commission on Wednesday approved a $4.5 million project that moves tutoring services at UW-Whitewater from a basement to three-story addition.

The Student Success Center provides basic tutoring and specialized supplemental instruction to about one-third of UW-Whitewater's estimated 12,000 students, said Vice Chancellor Jeffrey Arnold.

The center, which has been housed in the basement of McCutchan Hall since the 70s, is cramped in 5,307 square foot offices that lack accessibility, air condition, technology and room for the rapidly expanding program.

As part of the project, the center will be relocated into an 18,390-square-foot, three-story addition that will be built along the south side of Laurentide Hall.

Laurentide Hall was known as Carlson Hall before being renovated two years ago.

Supplemental instruction computer and large group labs will occupy the addition's first floor, the tutoring center will occupy some of the second floor, and additional supplemental large group and computer labs will occupy the third floor.

Supplemental instruction generally focuses on a particular course while tutoring is considered more generalized assistance in broader subject areas, Arnold said.

“Both are useful and cannot only help a 'C' student become a 'B' student but a 'B' student to become an 'A' student. It's especially good at retaining students during their freshmen year,” he said.

According to Shane Staff, director of Campus Tutorial Services, student interest in the Success Center has doubled in each of the last five years.

“This year I've employed a little over 250 tutors who will do well over 150,000 hours of tutoring," he said in an email. "Last semester, roughly 44 percent of the campus population were served by a tutor at least once."

Free services are offered to students seven days a week.

Even with the new addition there will not be enough space to accommodate all tutorial services, Staff wrote. Tutoring will continue in McCutchan Hall, Anderson Library and some residence halls, he wrote.
The addition will match Laurentide's exterior, and it will have one entrance from the hall and another from an adjacent parking area.

Project funding includes $2 million in borrowing authority that was not used on Laurentide's renovations and $2.5 million in new taxpayer supported borrowing.

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