Design Firm Chosen for New UWSP Science Building
For the City-Times
The new biology and chemistry academic building at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point will be designed by Potter Lawson, Inc., a firm based in Madison.
The firm was selected by an interview committee composed of representatives of UW-Stevens Point, UW-System and the State Division of Facilities Development. Wisconsin Department of Administration secretary Mike Huebsch confirmed the committee’s recommendations yesterday. The next step is the scheduling of a kickoff meeting between the designers and state and campus representatives. A contract proposal from the firm will then be negotiated prior to the design work.
“This announcement is great news for the campus and central Wisconsin,” said UW-Stevens Point Chancellor Bernie Patterson. “It marks another major milestone in the process to develop this very important facility for the students and state citizens.”
Other teams under consideration were BWBR, Continuum Architects+Planners/Cannon Design and Somerville Inc./Perkins+Will.
“All four design teams were well qualified to take on this project,” said Carl Rasmussen, UW-Stevens Point’s director of Facilities Planning. “It came down to how the Potter Lawson, Inc., team jelled and how they presented their design approach in the interview.”
Potter Lawson, Inc. will do the work in association with HOK, an international architectural firm with its nearest office in Chicago. The firm recently completed the Wisconsin Energy Institute on the UW-Madison campus while teamed with HOK and previously designed two other UW-Madison buildings – the Genetics Biotechnology Building and the Rennebohm Hall School of Pharmacy.
The $75 million dollar, 169,165-square foot academic building will provide the biology and chemistry units with sustainable construction, modern technology, seven 55-seat classrooms, two 110-seat lecture halls, laboratory and research space, faculty and staff offices, a conservatory, herbarium and animal care facilities. A tentative timeline has construction beginning in the summer of 2015, and completion set for the summer of 2017.
Chemistry and biology faculty first identified the need for more space 20 years ago. The existing Science Building was built in 1963, and many systems are outdated or worn. UW-Stevens Point has worked in earnest on building plans and funding for the past five years. The project will be the first free-standing new building at UW-Stevens Point in 40 years.