Hilltop construction begins in order to combat crumbling concrete

New construction on Hilltop Recreation begins on Oct. 6, seeks to solve safety concerns from Spring 2019


Photo by Morgan Burke

Construction on the south entrance of Hilltop is set to start on Oct. 7, and is expected to take 2-3 weeks,

The orange cones are out once again, which means another construction project has begun on campus. 

This time, it is on the Hilltop Recreation Center. 

Students living on campus may experience some slight inconveniences, Renee Strehlau, UW-Eau Claire’s campus planner, said.

These inconveniences include restrictions from entering and exiting Hilltop and traveling to and from upper campus, but this will have only a small effect on students living on upper campus, Strehlau said.

Construction began at Hilltop on Monday, Oct. 6 and is expected to be finished in two to three weeks, Andrew Nord, UW-Eau Claire’s project manager, said. 

This project is related to safety concerns that arose in the spring semester of 2019, when concrete from the bridge started to fall, creating potential hazards for students walking below.

This was caused by natural age and deterioration, Strehlau said.

The project itself consists of repairs to the concrete on the bridge. 

“You won’t see the rebar sticking out, and they will be topping off the top part (of the bridge),” Nord said.

As far as students are concerned, an email sent out last week by Integrated Marketing and Communications has advised students to use either of the two staircases located behind Horan Hall because the sidewalk underneath Hilltop is currently closed. 

Strehlau also said this would have minimal impacts.

“It will not affect general student traffic,” Strehlau said. 

In fact, some students hardly even noticed the construction, such as Mikayla Soltis, a second-year organizational communications major at UW-Eau Claire.

“I didn’t even know which door was under construction,” Soltis said.

The message from IMC, as well as signs posted around the building, say students must also enter Hilltop from the west entrance, which faces David Karlgaard Tower, or the east entrance near the west side of Murray Hall.

Plueger can be reached at [email protected]