University of Wisconsin–La Crosse Student Union

La Crosse, WI

Project Overview

raSmith’s structural engineers have a 20-plus-year history of working on higher education projects for the State of Wisconsin, Department of Administration (DOA), Division of Facilities Development (DFD). We know the State of Wisconsin’s process and its staff. We know how to overcome challenges and design sustainable facilities.

Most unique about the planned student union at the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse was the interesting shape of the building (designed by Kindness architecture + planning and HSR Associates) to emulate Grandad Bluff. From a structural design perspective, that meant assembling and integrating several asymmetrical building spaces as part of the whole. The structural grid and framing systems were designed for an atypical configuration. Creativity was further exemplified by designing a poured-in-place concrete framing system consisting of flat slabs and pan joists.

The kitchens at the student union also necessitated unique requirements from a freezer and drainage perspective. A lot of time and effort were devoted to incorporating floor depression in the structural slabs as part of combining various-shaped building spaces. The project was completed on time and on budget.

Photographer: Jack Fleig

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