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New Ogg Hall opens to 600-plus new residents

August 23, 2007 By Dennis Chaptman

Ogg Hall, the newest residence hall at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, will open to 615 students this month and carry on the university’s tradition of blending academics with student housing.

"The new Ogg Hall is more proof that university housing is more than just a place to live. It’s a place to learn – with an emphasis on academic support and promoting student involvement and leadership," says Paul Evans, director of University Housing.

The new six-story facility – along with Newell J. Smith Hall, which opened last year – replaces the outdated 13-story towers of the old Ogg Hall. The old facility closed to residents last spring and will be demolished beginning next month.

The new Ogg Hall, at North Park and Dayton streets, features two classrooms, a technology learning center, a study room, tutoring rooms and an office of the Cross College Advising Service on the first floor, plus two additional study rooms on each floor.

"Studies here and nationally show that students do better academically if they live on campus," Evans said, noting that at UW–Madison the difference is between a 3.16 and 2.81 grade-point average.

"Students and their families recognize the importance of on-campus housing, and it is unfortunate that we weren’t able to offer housing to almost 700 new students this year," Evans adds.

The new building also features a security system that includes cameras at building entrances, card access for entry and a full sprinkler system.

Ogg Hall also incorporates some of the most popular trends in new construction and campus life. Before the Ogg and Smith halls were designed, students were surveyed on their preferences and housing staff toured residence halls on a number of other campuses.

Residents in Ogg Hall will live in clusters in which groups of four rooms share a common bathroom. This type of living offers students more privacy, while still encouraging close friendships and bonding.

Residents will have high-speed Internet connections in their rooms, access to wireless Internet services in common areas, the ability to individually control room heating and air conditioning, and a kitchenette on each floor.

Cost for construction of Ogg Hall – just the second new residence hall on campus in the last 42 years – was $27.9 million.

The residence hall also has an outdoor sculpture titled "Basis," by artists Dann Nardi. The piece – funded through the state of Wisconsin’s Percent for Art program – features arching columns of pigmented concrete surrounding an outdoor seating area near Murray and Dayton streets.

Ogg Hall is named for Frederic A. Ogg, a member of the faculty for 34 years. Ogg, who died in 1951, was an author, teacher and researcher in political science and served as the chairman of his department and of the graduate division of social studies for many years.