The University of Wisconsin-
Stevens Point has just gained
approval to renovate the North DeBot
Residence Halls for a total cost of $13.5
million for the next two summers.
The project will renovate Watson
Hall during the summer of 2014 and
Thompson Hall in the summer of
2015 using funds collected from the
students who live in the residence
halls. Both of these halls contain
270 beds and will be the seventh
and eighth halls to be renovated on
“The project will be bid on and
contracted as one project but each hall
will be renovated one per summer,”
said UWSP director of facilities
planning Carl Rasmussen.
Michael Zsido and Cindy Von
Gnechten, the assistant directors in
Residential Living, are very excited
about the opportunity to improve the
living and learning environments of
the halls and make them accessible
“These are the most extensive
renovations since the buildings were
constructed in the mid 60’s,” Zsido said.
A major renewal was done back
in 1993 and 1994, but it concentrated
mostly on common areas only.
All of the fire alarms and voice-
data wiring were upgraded, but
addressable digital and synchronized
alarm light technology was not
available yet. The resident rooms only
received new carpet, tile and paint.
Each of the halls will undergo
important renovations including
a fire sprinkler suppression systemthroughout, ramp and patio
reconstruction, window replacements
with energy efficient frames and
glazing, elevator installation,
lighting and data upgrades a thin-
coat of plaster over existing block
walls, interior finish and furniture
upgrades, accessibility upgrades,
and Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design EB-Silver
The front desk lobby area will
also be updated as well as the lounge
“It is well needed and a terrific
upgrade,” Rasmussen said. “Our
efforts are now being followed by
other UW campuses across the state
with similar halls constructed in the
The halls will also be modified
for the American Disabilities Act. 11
resident rooms on various floors will
be made ADA accessible including
the hall director apartments.
It will include private baths
on the second and fourth floors to
accommodate mobility restricted
residents and guests on all floors.
The basement level bathrooms
will be made fully accessible and
they will be converted to private non-
A 5-stop elevator will also be
installed, along with an exterior ramp
to the lobby level. The doors will
receive a lever style handle as well.
“The renovations will improve
accessibility, safety, and function,”
The renovation is designed to
be recognized as a LEED Existing
Building as outlined by the U.S. Green
One of these landscaping designcredits will include water efficient
plantings. These will be the fourth
and fifth buildings at UWSP to
achieve a LEED-EB design.
“The renovation will take 95
days. Work will begin the Monday
after graduation,” Rasmussen said.