Schofield renovation near complete

Story by Clair Casey

Schofield Auditorium at UW-Eau Claire is being renovated this year to better serve both the campus and community. The project will cost just less than $1 million and the completion date is now set for spring semester.

This is the auditorium’s second extensive renovation, which will include new seating, central room control, a video wall projection system, including improved handicap accessibility, and other aesthetic and facility improvements.

According to the Eau Claire website, Schofield Auditorium, located on the first floor of Schofield Hall, is the largest fixed-seating venue on campus. Its capacity is 660 and hosts an average of 135 student-sponsored events per year, which makes up for the vast majority of its use.

The payment for the project is being shared between the UW-Eau Claire Foundation, Student Senate, University Centers/Event Services and state and university facilities improvement funds.

Mike Rindo, the assistant chancellor for facilities, believes the renovation will benefit both the university and students for years to come.

“This project will take our facility and make it into a first rate venue with the original design in mind,” Rindo said. “When the facility is done, the students will benefit the most from the new auditorium. Student organizations will no longer have to pay to use the facility since equipment will now be built in.”

Jason Anderson, event production coordinator for Event Services, said that while the auditorium is still under construction, all standing reservations have been moved to alternative venues within the academic buildings or university center. Student groups were given priority first, followed by large event requests and any other standing reservations.

He also said that Event Services worked with those who were displaced and will continue to do so until the project is completed. Current reservations were not charged extra when moving to more expensive venues.

Anderson said that all renovations will be worth it in the end.

“We have embodied excellence,” he said, “and created a shining example of what it means to be a Blugold and where the campus is headed in the future.”