University of Wisconsin-Stout

Menomonie,

Student Center And Dining Feasibility Analysis

The University of Wisconsin-Stout selected B&D in 2006 to conduct a feasibility study to assess demand and student support for facility improvements to its Memorial Student Center and the Price Dining Commons. This study included a review of existing reports and program information from past studies and related documentation to identify gaps between university aspirations and the current facilities and services. Focus groups and survey responses included student, faculty, and staff participants and outlined a variety of issues relating to additional space and extended hours for social activities. Our benchmarking and demand-based programming analysis revealed that both Memorial and Price had sufficient areas of food service, conference/meeting rooms, and recreation/entertainment areas. However, those spaces were not configured appropriately, due to outdated service models that allocated too much space to “back of house” functions and under-utilized activities. Areas that clearly needed additional space included bookstore/retail functions, lounge areas, and student organization resource/office space. Enhancements of the facilities’ circulation, natural light transparency, décor, and interior finishes also were needed. Based on information collected about the influence of housing assignments on perceptions of access to campus programs and facilities, we recommended that planning for the replacement of the north campus dining begin so a more comprehensive approach to student community spaces could be developed. As a result, the university established a committee to advance the conclusions drawn by our feasibility study. In 2009 the university proceeded with the renovation of Memorial Student Center, which would add approximately 7,000 SF to the existing 100,000 SF building and transform it into a more modern and sustainable campus hub. This $19 million project was completed in January 2012.