UW-Platteville officials clean up and assess damage after devast - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

UW-Platteville officials clean up and assess damage after devastating storm

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PLATTEVILLE (WKOW)-- Contingency plans are being made at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. University officials are waiting for assessors to finish their reports on the damage that was done to several buildings on campus.

Three dormitories including Bridgeway Commons, Southwest Hall and Rountree Hall were damaged in the recent storm. The vital academic building Engineering Hall also sustained heavy damage. Officials are not sure if those buildings will re-open before the upcoming Fall semester or not. They are currently working through a variety of options just in case they need to squeeze students into the remaining dormitories.

"It's tough to see," UW-Platteville Junior Michael Peterson says. "The more you walk around, the more you notice things you always assumed would be there when you're walking on campus, are just gone."

Peterson is one of a few dozen workers on the UW-Platteville grounds crew. These student employees typically mow lawns and maintain the overall beauty of the university, but this Summer there jobs will be much more difficult.

"It's coming along, slowly and surely. This is going to be a long Summer project," student worker Cassandra Thorngren says.

Many of the workers are also student athletes who are sad to see so much destruction in a place they call a second home. Several buildings and fields in the athletic complex on campus were damaged during Monday's storm.

"It's just really hurtful when you worked up to compete or play a sport and it's all just demolished. It's just really sad," Thorngren says.

The university will resume normal activities on Thursday June 19th. That includes all classes, new student registration, placement testing and the Pioneer Activity Center.

The most destructive site on campus is the area along the football field. Walking by you can see mangled fencing, toppled trees and bent over stadium lights. One of these lights just so happened to collapse on the home side bleachers in the football stadium. Officials are waiting to hear from assessors who are working to determine whether or not the stadium can be salvaged. Looking at the concrete bleachers you can see how the concrete structure has shifted. Many are concerned that the entire structure will be condemned.

"Each time we come down here we see something we didn't see the last time," Athletic Director Mark Molesworth says. "Right now it's a lot of contingency planning for both practices and locker rooms as well as equipment and games, those kinds of things."

Right now the football field is off-limits to anyone who isn't working on the assessing team. The facility is the home field of not only the college football team, but also the university's two soccer teams and the Platteville High School Football team. Molesworth says the upcoming seasons will carry on as planned no matter what happens to the stadium. He and other athletic officials are working to find alternative sites just in case the field isn't ready come September.

"This is a great campus, it's growing a lot. This is just sort of a bump in the road and we'll get past it and continue to grow and get stronger," Molesworth says. "The community is really working to help us out and we appreciate it a lot."


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