New name, new dance floor

University club to open in Hilltop Center


Photo by Elizabeth Jackson

The Lookout, opening on Ja. 24 in Hilltop Center, is located next to the Bowling and Billiards Center. The new club is replacing higher ground, which was located in Crest Wellness Center.

UW-Eau Claire students have a new spot to groove and gather.

The Lookout, a new dance and performance club, is set to open its doors to students on Jan. 24.

The new club, located in Hilltop Center, is replacing UW-Eau Claire’s previous on-campus dance club, Higherground, which was located above Crest Wellness Center.

The new location on the lower level of Hilltop Center next to the Bowling and Billiard Center boasts a dance floor larger than the former one in Higherground, a stage for all different types of performances, a movable DJ booth and an outdoor patio space with speakers.

In December, the university held the All Hall Fall Ball and gave students a sneak peek of The Lookout.

Joseph Haferman, coordinator of student organizations and late night activities on campus, said the move from Crest to Hilltop is something that has been in plans for awhile.

“The move had been something that had been discussed and planned in the long term previously,” Haferman said. “Hilltop Center was getting a paging system update throughout the building, and it was discussed that with the paging system update going on, it would be the right time to move to integrate the new club into the Hilltop sound system.”

The Lookout will host events such as swing dancing and small concerts. Haferman said he wants the new space to branch out from what Higherground did and experiment with new programs it could not hold in its smaller space.

“Expectations for The Lookout ,in general, are to be receptive to students and bring in events that they would like to see on upper campus,” Haferman said. “With that in mind, there will still be dance clubs but the event programming in the space will be more diversified.”

Megan Dallas, a BBC employee said bringing the student dance club to Hilltop will unify upper campus recreation activities into one area.

“I think it’s great for the BBC to have The Lookout now because it will help bring in business,” Dallas said.

The Lookout will reach out to student organizations as a place to hold events and meetings, just as Higherground did in the past. Haferman said working with Recreation and Sport Facilities in the BBC area will provide greater opportunities for events on campus.

Sophomore musician Cole Nesvacil performed at Higherground last year.   He also said The Lookout is in a good location.

“The facility is right next to numerous popular places on campus such as the cafeteria and the BBC, which should bring in more student traffic,” Nesvacil said.

Big programs to be looking out for in the upcoming months at The Lookout include the University  Activities Commission Comedy Showcase during Winter Carnival and Mike Malone’s Swing Band on Feb. 1. Dance parties will remain on schedule for most weekends as well.  Beyond February, The Lookout is working on its schedule of programs and as soon as they are set the events will be released to the public.

The grand opening will be Jan. 24-25 with dancing starting both nights at 11 p.m. going until to 2 a.m. Saturday’s festivities will be kicked off with a performance from singing comedian Brian O’Sullivan starting at 9:45 p.m. Student admission is always free with a Blugold ID.

“After seeing The Lookout, I really think that the facility is perfect,” Nesvacil said. “Hopefully students will enjoy the upcoming shows and events being put on.”