A familiar campus thoroughfare is set to become a destination as crews begin work this week.
Repair and remodeling began Monday (June 25) on the Student Services Building roof plaza, the football field-sized area between the University Union, Theatre Hall and the Cofrin Library. The area is being redone to address maintenance needs — an improved roof with better insulation — but the project will offer much more, said facilities planner Aaron Epps.
“We’ll have planters all over the place — it’s actually more square footage of planters than was there before,” Epps said.
“We’ll have some movable planters, and there are platforms for sculptures and seating. … (With) any type of maintenance like that, you have to at least return it to the way it was — so that gave us the chance to be a little bit more creative with what was going up there.”
Plans for the project began more than a year ago, as campus officials solicited input from students, faculty and staff on what they’d like to see in the space. Three open sessions were held to gauge interest.
One of the groups with a significant stake in the project is UW-Green Bay’s SLO Food Alliance, which uses the rooftop for its Campus Garden. The group will relocate for the summer, but ultimately will have more space with which to work, said group adviser and Dean of Enrollment Services Mike Stearney. SLO Food members were invited early on to brainstorm about the plaza’s new look, and sketch their ideas for consideration.
“Their concerns were all incorporated,” Stearney said. “They got what they wanted out of it.”
The new roof plaza will feature trellises and more than than two dozen permanent and movable planters, along with ample seating and tables to facilitate its use as a gathering space. The project is expected to be completed no later than Oct. 31, and maybe sooner if the weather and other factors allow, Epps said.
Demolition of the plaza’s existing concrete and planters is expected to last for about three weeks, and could cause some headaches for Student Services employees, Stearney acknowledged. The extent of the noise is not yet known, but officials have come up with contingency plans if it becomes too much of a distraction. And in the end, Stearney said, the temporary disruption will pay off.
“The prize at the end of this is going to be worth it,” Stearney said. “This is really going to be a very cool space.”
For more on entrance, parking and other logistics associated with the Student Services roof remodel, see our previous Log news post.