The $4 million dollar expansion and renovation of Winona State University (WSU) Kryzsko Commons is set for public viewing in June 2014. The work on the student union was in response to growing student and university needs.
. WSU staff members Cristeen Custer and Joe Reed share a laugh while on tour of WSU’s Kryzsko Commons addition and renovation project.
“The last major addition was built in the '70s,” WSU Student Union Director Joe Reed explained on a media tour of the on-campus construction site. “Since then, our enrollment here has doubled, so we have been looking at ways to expand. We want to keep up and grow with the students and the university.”
According to Reed, the project is entirely funded through student revenue accounts, which include student union fees and reserves as well as funding from the WSU bookstore. Students were also consulted at the beginning of the planning and construction process, with some student volunteers staying on until the very end of the project.
“The beauty of the project is that students were a part of the consultation process,” Reed said. “Students had input in every aspect — from the beginning to the completion.”
The project will add more than 7,300 square feet, while 23,000 square feet of existing space within Kryzsko Commons will be renovated, with new carpet and finishing, as well as updated building systems and operating efficiencies.
“It is going to be an interactive space,” WSU Campus Planner Patricia Bremer said of the addition. “There will be a split level, which will open up along the east wall, so you will be able to see down into the bookstore and see people coming to and fro.”
Along with a larger student lounge and interactive space, Kryzsko Commons will have eight new meeting rooms, a space dedicated for the Student Diversity Center, an expanded bookstore, an additional elevator near the building center, a fire protection system throughout a portion of the Commons, and four new unisex restrooms, as well as the renovation of two multi-stall restrooms that meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for accessibility.
Both Bremer and Reed touched on the sustainability aspects of the project, which include energy efficient windows, the use of recycled materials and the addition of an efficient wall system that will replace the current concrete ramp and wall on the east side of the building. The sustainability aspect of the project has, in total, reduced more than $500,000 in total deferred maintenance costs.
“This has been fun,” Reed proudly said of the process. “It really has.”