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What happened to Witte?! Inside the 2.5-year, $53M renovation of a popular UW residence hall

Official move-in days are Aug. 31, Sept. 1

Inside the 2.5-year, $53M renovation of a popular UW residence hall
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Inside the 2.5-year, $53M renovation of a popular UW residence hall

MADISON, Wis. - Two and a half years and $53 million later, you'd never know Witte Hall was built in 1964. Its new amenities, from top-of-the-line WiFi to new furniture and air conditioning, are not only on par with the UW-Madison's newest dorms but rival luxury student housing.

Unlike some universities, the University of Wisconsin does not require incoming freshmen to live on campus in one of its 20 residence halls, though roughly 92% choose to do so.

Even without the major facelift, Witte was already one of the most popular residence halls among freshmen for its social atmosphere.

About 16% of students living in university housing will call Witte home this year. For them, the move-in process will be a lot less sweaty than in the past.

Individual rooms now have temperature controls and air conditioning, joining roughly half of the other forms that offer A/C. Other renovations include the addition of an 11th floor, new elevators, and larger bathrooms.

Each floor also has a nongender, single-unit bathroom as well.

All windows were replaced with more energy-efficient ones, and all rooms have new furniture and individual WiFi devices for increased coverage. That's necessary, because nowadays, the UW says its students bring five or six devices to campus, on average.

Official move-in days are Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, but some early arrivals are already trickling in. Expect delays if you're driving around campus throughout Welcome Week.

Next up: UW Housing will start renovations on Sellery Hall, another one of its larger, most-popular dorms. Updates will include many of the same design features used at Witte, including joining the two towers together and adding not one, but two floors. That project will break ground next summer and finish in August 2023.

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