This fall, construction will begin on a $4.5 million addition to Laurentide Hall on the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater campus, dramatically enhancing the academic services experience for students.
The three-story, 18,390-square-foot addition will be called the Student Success Center, and will include computer labs and collaboration rooms that can double as classrooms. Smart board technology and universal design will create a vibrant learning environment.
"Primarily, it will serve as the headquarters of Campus Tutorial Services. We planned the facility with supplemental instruction in mind where tutoring is tied to specific courses," said Jeff Arnold, vice chancellor for administrative affairs. "All colleges, all disciplines will benefit from this new, modern environment."
Campus Tutorial Services is a peer-tutoring operation, where students work with their undergraduate and graduate peers, both one-on-one and in group settings.
Since the 1970s, services have been housed in the basement of McCutchan Hall, in a 5,307-square-foot space that lacks accessibility, air conditioning and adequate technology. When the Student Success Center is completed, the operation will move into the addition. Satellite rooms in Andersen Library and in the residence halls will remain.
Over the years, UW-Whitewater students have embraced the assistance provided by Campus Tutorial Services and interest has skyrocketed. In fact, participation has nearly doubled every year for the past five years, according to Shane Staff, director of the program.
At the end of the 2013-14 academic year, more than 250 tutors will complete more than 150,000 hours of tutoring. Last semester, about 44 percent of students met with a tutor at least once.
"The new space will allow for significantly more tutors to work with clients, and the demand is certainly there, as our growth has indicated," said Staff. "Students who work with my tutors regularly average a half to full letter grade higher than their peers who do not work with my tutors."
The exterior of the new building will feature metal panel, brick and a glass curtain wall to match Laurentide Hall.
The State Building Commission approved the design for the Student Success Center on March 5. Construction is expected to begin in September and wrap-up in July 2015.
-- Written by Jeff Angileri