University of Wisconsin ~ Memorial Union Reinvestment

Madison, Wisconsin

Project Description

Boldt began work on the Memorial Union historical renovation in December of 2011. The project involves the 1st phase of renovation and restoration to the original building dating from 1928 and West Wing dating from 1939.

The scope of work on this complex project includes theater restoration and expansion of the Memorial Union’s West Wing. Spaces such as the 1,000 seat historic Wisconsin Union Theater will be restored and renewed. New lighting and sound systems, displacement HVAC systems and acoustical treatment systems will blend seamlessly with the restoration of historic finishes. The completed project will address current accessibility and life safety issues, enhance the program needs of the building users and update the building’s aging infrastructure.

Boldt’s team will work closely with the State of Wisconsin, UW Madison and the Wisconsin Union to manage their interests, address their concerns and ensure that decision makers arrive at a mutually agreed consensus on all project issues. The Memorial Union renovation project also includes:

  • Reconstruction of the 200 seat Play Circle Theater with state-of-the-art equipment and finishes. This theater is designed to be a flexible space suitable for various types of performances.
  • Reconstruction of the outdoor recreation area, including boat storage, maintenance shop and meeting and office spaces
  • Construction of new arts studio space and gallery, including handicap accessible entry

Management of construction activities on a tight urban site including coordination of underground utility work, re-routing of bus lines, bicycle, car and pedestrian traffic.

Historical Renovation Aspects
Among the historical restoration of many of the Union’s areas was the bar in the lower level, Der Stiftskellar. Originally, the bar was built in 1962 and in 1978, painter Kurt Schaldach painted twenty German-themed murals on the walls. The restoration project included the recreation of the paintings. Some of the murals were moved and reproduced to make room for a new elevator that will make the west end of the building handicap accessible.

The bar portion of Der Stiftskellar has also been made new, but it is made in part from salvaged wood from a tree that once stood on the Terrace.

Sports Facility Renovation Aspects
This project included a complete reconstruction of its outdoor recreation area inside the Union. Upgrades to the outdoor UW area, commonly known as Hoofers, included canoe storage, maintenance shop, boat paint booth and meeting and office spaces.

The reconstruction of this space afforded the department 7,000 additional square feet. Other highlights included better air ventilation, a new equipment check-out area and a brand-new lakefront student lounge.

Student leaders were involved in decision making from start to finish, including approval of plans. A schedule was developed and followed to ensure the owner’s summer activity schedule would not be impacted.

Learn more about our Integrated Lean Project Delivery capabilities.

Architect/Engineer

Uihlein Wilson Architects

Boldt's Role

Construction Manager, General Contractor

Key Points

  • The completed project will address current accessibility and life safety issues, enhance the program needs of the building users and update the building’s aging infrastructure.