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Albertson Hall replacement progresses with relocation underway

May 26, 2022
Exterior sketch of proposed library building
Exterior sketch of proposed library building

After being a resource to campus and the community for more than 50 years, Albertson Hall has closed to prepare for relocation of services and building replacement.

Design and planning continue for replacement. Relocation of services and resources is underway and will continue through summer for University College, University Library, Archives, student support services and Information Technology, among others.

The building was named for James H. Albertson, who served as UW-Stevens Point president from 1962-1967 and envisioned a learning resource center for students, noted Brad Casselberry, head of Archives and Area Research Center. “Dr. Albertson believed that every available tool should be used to promote learning, and that was realized in this building.”

All services for students, faculty and staff will remain on campus. Student services, such as Academic and Career Advising, Disability Resource Center, Tutoring and Learning Center and Library reference and circulation will be temporarily relocated to the Collins Classroom Center.

Library resources and Archives will continue to be available to the community. The library collection will be stored temporarily in a climate-controlled facility in Plover. Patrons can request an item by using the “Local Request” option in Search@UW. Users need sign in to use this feature, and community visitors can do this with their guest account.  More information can be found here.

Archives will be available as of July 1 in the Trainer Natural Resources building, Room 110.

The Museum of Natural History will permanently move to the first floor of the Science Building, with some displays and programming by the end of 2022.

A rendering of the proposed new UWSP library
An architectual rendering of the proposed new UWSP library and sundial area, looking east.

Albertson Hall is scheduled to be razed in the winter of 2023. Construction of a new facility will begin in the summer of 2023 and is expected to be completed in the summer of 2025.

Albertson Hall was a top priority for UW-Stevens Point and UW System because of significant structural concerns and accessibility challenges. The deteriorating condition of the structure, fire suppression, mechanical and HVAC systems resulted in the project shifting from renovation to replacement. In July 2021, the state Legislature and governor approved $96 million to fund the replacement project.

UW-Stevens Point Facility Services staff, Albertson Hall occupants and students have been involved with Workshop Architects, Wisconsin Division of Facilities Development (DFD) and UW System staff in developing preliminary designs. A new, more efficient facility will be four stories on the same, but smaller building footprint. Student support services will be easily accessible on the first floor. Student study spaces throughout the building will include a 24-hour-access student lounge.

The project prioritizes sustainable and healthy measures, noted Allison Henke, campus planner. State DFD Sustainability Guidelines for Capital Projects were used throughout the design process. 

“The new building incorporates biophilic design throughout to create visual connections to nature, in particular, Schmeeckle Reserve,” Henke said. The facility will include sustainable initiatives such as green roofs, bird collision deterrence on windows, native vegetation, indoor water efficiency, wellness rooms and will use recycled and sustainable materials.

The Specht Forum will also be refurbished. Based on campus input, it will be transformed from a hardscaped scene to a park-like setting with ample green space. The sundial (sunburst) will be incorporated into the new design.

More information on the project and relocations is available at the Albertson Building Central website.

University College Dean Gretel Stock signs a window at the Albertson Hall celebration.
University College Dean Gretel Stock signs a window at the Albertson Hall celebration.

At a celebration of Albertson Hall May 19, UW-Stevens Point employees and alumni shared memories. Gretel Stock, who received her bachelor’s degree in 1998 and returned as dean of University College, said Albertson, in addition to the Noel Fine Arts Center, was a second home to her. “I took theatre classes in the basement dance studio, used the media and print resources in the building and worked as a library student employee. I even walked across the Albertson steps at my outdoor commencement. This space has meant so much to me and other students over the years.”

For more than 50 years, Albertson Hall has been the hub of student success, noted Chancellor Thomas Gibson. “It was your support and service and that of faculty and staff who served before us that made Albertson Hall a foundation of learning,” he said at the event. “You have helped thousands of students within these walls. And you will continue to help our students in our new facility beginning in 2025. What won’t be new is the dedication our employees bring to those they serve and their commitment to student success.”