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UW-W dining hall to get $1.2 million facelift

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Kayla Bunge
June 4, 2009
— Drumlin Dining Hall on the UW-Whitewater campus is in the middle of a $1.2 million renovation to improve movement in and out the building and to better accommodate students with disabilities.

The renovation project includes a new front entrance on the south side of the building with stairs and an elevator to provide more direct access to the dining area on the second floor. The entrance will face the majority of the campus, including the new suite-style residence hall, which is being built across the street.


The project also includes new handicapped-accessible bathrooms.


"This all will be better for the traffic coming in and out of this building," said Bob Barry, executive director of the James R. Connor University Center.


Students in wheelchairs have the most trouble getting around Drumlin Dining Hall. They have to enter on the ground floor, "wind through the caverns," and take a freight elevator up to the second floor, he said. They end up in a hallway with commercial refrigerators and freezers, and they have to wheel down another hallway to get to the dining area, he said.


Construction began a couple of weeks ago, and the majority of the work is expected to be complete in mid-August, just before students move into the residence halls on campus. The remainder of the work should be complete in mid-October.


Drumlin Dining Hall last was remodeled in spring 2005, but the $250,000 project changed the configuration from all-you-can-eat style serving to food-court style serving. The project did not address handicapped accessibility or an aging heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, Barry said.


He said the university hoped to address both with the remodeling project this year, but work on the ventilation system will be pricey.


"When we submitted this project to the state (four years ago), the $1.2 million budget might have fit, but we didn't know the extent of the work we would need to do," he said.


Work on the HVAC system could cost about $1 million, he said.


Barry said the university is planning for a complete overhaul of Drumlin Dining Hall in the next five to seven years, in conjunction with the start of a new food service contract. An overhaul not only would include construction but also could include a change in what food is offered and how food is marketed, he said.



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