Sesquicentennial Hall - Recent Updates


A Vision Statement for Transformation

VIEW: September 2018 Newsletter - College of EMS

Sesquicentennial Hall Update

The programming phase for Sesquicentennial Hall is drawing to a close with five days of workshops in the past four weeks hosted by the project architect, BWBR Inc. The programming phase defines exactly which programs will reside in SQH. The plan is for a massive Maker Space as the focal point of SQH. In alignment with the  vision statement for SQH  (see graphic below), the building will provide substantial student support. Consequently, an abundance of student study spaces will be intentionally incorporated into the building design.
A Vision Statement for Transformation

 As part of the planning for SQH, all the spaces were reviewed, and it was determined that it is possible to fit Computer Science and Software Engineering into Engineering Hall and SQH. The exact split of CSSE spaces between EGH and SQH will be determined at a later date and will be informed by the location of SQH relative to EGH. The ability of EGH and SQH to accommodate CSSE would not have been possible without the cooperative and collaborative spirit of the Electrical and Computer Engineering, Industrial Engineering, and Engineering Physics departmental faculty and staff.

Currently, it is anticipated that SQH will house facilities for Mechanical Engineering, much of the Civil and Environmental Engineering and some CSSE. Housing CSSE in SQH and EGH allows all of the engineering programs to reside in very close proximity, which is in direct response to the need for increased interdisciplinary efforts identified by employers of our graduates.
The architect continuously monitors the budget, project schedule and project scope. The latest cost estimate for the building shows that the enumerated budget is still appropriate, and the project remains on schedule. The scope continues to be defined through the programming phase.
Each department has at least one representative on the SQH planning committee; you are encouraged to visit with them about the project and share your hopes and aspirations!



Workshop 1 - Visioning Meeting Minutes


If you have any great ideas for the new building, please share these with your department’s representative to the SQH Building Committee.   Click here to download this PDF document.



Sesquicentennial Hall Update

VIEW: Sesquicentennial Hall Update

Sesquicentennial Hall Update
Philip J Parker
Fri 7/13, 3:52 PM

Dear College of EMS,


I am happy to report that the Sesquicentennial Hall (affectionately known as ‘SQH’) building process is moving along very well.  The contract with the architect (BWBR) has been fully executed.  On June 29, we conducted a project “restart” meeting with BWBR, the Department of Administration, UW System and representatives from UW-Platteville.

BWBR is planning a series of meetings with the various college stakeholders starting in August through the early fall semester.  The first session will be a one-day visioning workshop on August 1.  During the week of August 13, the building committee may be traveling to view recently-constructed university STEM buildings in the region.  The final session of the month will be August 29 to August 31 to work on the programming with BWBR. 

Prior to the August 1 meeting, it is imperative that the College of EMS answers this question - what exactly is going into Sesquicentennial Hall?  The building team will be meeting twice in July to help answer this question.

Finally, the current revised schedule includes these key dates:

·         Pre design completed by October 2018
·         35% design completed by June 2019
·         Construction to start in Fall 2020
·         Occupancy in Fall 2022

 I wish you all a wonderful weekend!


Philip J. Parker, Ph.D., P.E.

Associate Dean for New Initiatives



EGH/SQH Planning Update

VIEW: EGH/SQH Planning Update

EGH/SQH Planning Update
Philip J Parker
Thu 3/29, 3:17 PM

Dear EMS Faculty and Staff,

First, I hope everyone is enjoying Spring Break week!

Second, two important events related to the SQH project happened in the past two weeks that I wanted to share.

1.       Paulien and Associates was on campus on March 15 and 16 and met with 9 affinity groups.  The affinity groups, composed of faculty and staff, met to further investigate possible future cross-departmental collaboration in the following areas: active learning rooms; CSSE/ECE combined spaces; Energy; IIoT; Materials; Mechatronics/controls/robotics; Senior design/maker space/shop; Undergraduate research space; Virtual Reality Room.   I was so “proud” of my colleagues, especially the fact that I heard a lot of “we should work more together with such and such department” and that I never heard “I need more space!”

2.       On March 19, we hosted the SQH Kick-Off Meeting, with representatives from UW-System, Dept. of Administration (DoA), BWBR (the selected architect), and campus.  We had very positive interactions with the architectural team, and it was rewarding to hear them speak of how impressed they are at the collaborative space planning that is already occurring on campus.

So now we await the final report from Paulien and Associates, and await word from the DoA that the contract with BWBR has been completed.


Philip J. Parker, Ph.D., P.E.

Assistant Dean for New Initiatives



Statement of Qualification

BWBR Architects, Inc. has been selected to serve as the architect for the Sesquicentennial Hall project. "Statement of Qualification” document was submitted by BWBR as part of the selection and screening process.  Click here to download this PDF document.



Update on Sesquicentennial Hall Planning

VIEW: Update on Sesquicentennial Hall Planning

Philip J Parker
Sat 1/27, 3:43 PM

Dear EMS Faculty and Staff,

As you may be aware, Dean Gribb has asked me to lead the College’s planning efforts for Sesquicentennial Hall.  As such, I plan on sending regular updates out via email to keep everyone in the College up to date. 

I am happy to let you know that progress is happening, and happening quickly!  Last Friday, January 19, representatives from each department in EMS met for 2-1/2 hours for the project “kickoff meeting” to discuss not only the planning of the new building, but to help design a process that will make optimal use of our space in the College including Ottensman Hall, EGH, SQH (my personal abbreviation for Sesquicentennial Hall…!), and perhaps even Boebel Hall.  We are quickly learning that in order for SQH to have room for everything we wish to put into it, we will need to be creative and collaborative in making the most of all of the College’s space.

On Friday, January 26, Molly and I got to sit in on the Pre-Interview Tour meeting.  All four A/E (architectural and engineering) firms that are finalists for the project were invited to this meeting.   They were eager to hear our vision for the building, and we were happy to share things we had heard the previous week in our kickoff meeting: lots of interdisciplinary space; ability for students and faculty to interact; an abundance of daylight(!); and flexible spaces to meet the changing needs of our curricula for the next decades.  They were happy to hear that we were taking a holistic view to the space planning, and were intrigued by the idea that an additional wing to EGH might give us much more “bang for our buck” than a new stand-alone building can.  They toured EGH, and then asked to see Ottensman Hall. 

Concurrently with this process, a consulting firm (Paulien and Associates) has been contracted to study space utilization in the College.  Chairs and Directors may be hearing from them in the near future as they hope to complete their study before the design of SQH commences.

These are exciting times for the College and I am happy to be in the middle of it all!  Please feel free to send me questions, to review the project webpage (, and to leave comments and questions via the webform on that page.


Philip J. Parker, Ph.D., P.E.

Assistant Dean for New Initiatives

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