University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is home to the Dreyfus University Center, the student center on campus named for historic Wisconsin Governor Lee Sherman Dreyfus. In the late 2000s, the campus had the opportunity to transform the existing facility, originally constructed in 1958, with a significant addition and remodeling project. The old building had a wonderful location on campus, but it wasn't very welcoming and wasn't serving the needs of the campus. Rather than replace it, the University undertook a significant remodeling and addition project to upgrade the important Dreyfus University Center. This approach was taken to achieve prompt project completion as well as to make the most of the available budget.

The University Center housed food service, conference and meeting rooms, and the University Bookstore among other functions. The new design was to add space and improve the traffic flow and accessibility as well as create a welcoming center for the University itself while continuing to provide those functions.

To ensure the most prompt project timeline, the University relocated the operations of the Dreyfus University Center for one academic year into a vacant commercial space in downtown Stevens Point while the modifications took place.

The Dreyfus Center received new systems including electrical, plumbing and HVAC. The building also received an entirely new look which incorporated an impressive entrance, a concourse design, and a significant amount of natural light. The design incorporated many LEED-inspired features and materials and was done in the spirit of sustainability. The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is well known for its environmental academic programs and the facilities on campus reflect that focus of the University.

The biggest visual transformation of the building was the entrance. It has become one of the most photographed buildings on campus and the landmark that individuals now associate with UWSP. "Even though the project is nearing a decade of existence, many people still think this is a brand new facility," says Susan Crotteau, Director of the University Centers.

"The open concourse design has worked very well for our campus. We were able to create a feeling of open space and a lively, bustling university environment while providing sound barriers, privacy, and security for meeting groups, food service, retail spaces, and our administrative offices," Crotteau added.

The project refurbished 150,000 square feet of space and added 35,000 square feet with a new addition. Nearly all the existing areas in the old facility were remodeled and expanded to meet new demands by a growing student population. "This project redefined the welcome to the UW-Stevens Point campus," says Architect Tom Twohig. "It was a very significant transformation and a wonderful example of an addition and remodeling project that made a powerful impact on the appearance and functionality of a much used facility," he added.