Laurentide Hall, the new home of the College of Letters and Sciences

    April 16, 2012

    Render The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater campus owes its unique topography to ice.

    About 20,000 years ago, the Laurentide ice sheet - which had towered over the landscape for 75,000 years - receded, leaving behind drumlins, eskers, kettles and moraines.

    The College of Letters and Sciences is honoring the campus's glacial past by moving into a renovated building and calling it Laurentide Hall.

    "We feel it is really symbolic," said David Travis, associate dean. "The Laurentide ice sheet provided the foundation for numerous glacial features. Our college teaches four of the five general core courses, which provide students the foundation for their education."

    The building, previously known as Carlson Hall, housed the College of Business and Economics from 1972 to 2009. Paul Carlson was a professor of accounting and bookkeeping at UW-Whitewater from 1917 to 1959.

    "We met with Paul's son Arthur, and it was his desire that the Carlson name be associated with business education," said Jon Enslin, vice chancellor for university advancement and president of the UW-Whitewater Foundation. "The Paul Carlson Suite now houses accounting offices in Timothy J. Hyland Hall, the current business building."

    Laurentide Hall is undergoing a $17 million renovation as part of the 2011-2013 Wisconsin capital budget. The existing 77,300-square-foot facility will be expanded by about 5,400 square feet and will feature new faculty offices, research labs, conference rooms, a café and a telepresence room. The project also incorporates sustainable design and improved accessibility.

    "Laurentide Hall will be a total transformation that will bring light into the interior of the building and provide gathering spaces and study spaces for students, as well as space for the student organizations that are connected to the departments in the building," said Mary Pinkerton, dean of the College of Letters and Sciences. "We're hoping that the architecture will encourage cross-disciplinary discussions and collaboration and create a more dynamic environment."

    Construction should be complete by Sept. 1. Furniture, computer infrastructure and interior design elements will be installed by Oct. 1.  Faculty and staff members, who are currently scattered across seven buildings, will move in throughout October.

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