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A Brief History

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh can trace its roots back 134 years to 1871 when the institution was established as the Oshkosh State Normal School. At the time of its founding, the campus was composed of one main building on a six acre site. The original school structure was destroyed in a fire that occurred in 1916. Dempsey Hall, the existing main administration building, was constructed in 1918 to replace the original facility.

In 1971, it's centennial year, Oshkosh was renamed the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, as it is known today. Over the years, the institution has grown from that one original structure to a campus of fifty-eight buildings on over 184 acres. The main academic portion of University of Wisconsin Oshkosh contains over 5.3 million gross square feet of space located on 123 acres, creating a very compact, urban campus.

 

Campus Area Calculation

DescriptionSquare FeetAcres
Main Building Footprints 1,013,162 23.26
Other Building Footprints 144,009 3.31
Parking Area 1,195,019 27.43
Walkway Area 697,647 16.02
Total Green Space 4,992,063 114.60

 

Main Campus Grounds 5,361,608 123.09
Other Campus Grounds
(Oshkosh Sports Center, etc.)
2,680,292 61.53
GRAND TOTAL 8,041,901 184.62

 

For further historical information about the history of the campus, visit the UW Oshkosh Capsule History Archives.

 

Building Chronology

As can be seen in the following chart and graph, a majority of the campus was constructed within a twenty-year time span from 1951 to 1971. In that period, 78% of all GPR and 97% of all PR facilities were constructed. As a result of this period of significant construction, the majority of the campus facilities and infrastructure are between thirty and fifty years old.

construction chronology

Chronological Building List

Building NameDate Constructed
Oviatt House 1883
Multi-Cultural Education Center 1902
Harrington Hall 1913
Dempsey Hall 1918
Pollack Alumni House 1920
Swart Hall 1927
Radford Hall 1951
Albee Hall 1955
Webster Hall 1957
Reeve Memorial Union 1959
Clemans Hall 1960
Polk Library 1962
Donner Hall 1962
Breese Hall 1962
University Police (Security Building) 1962
Halsey Science Center 1963
Buckstaff Planetarium 1963
Taylor Hall 1963
Fletcher Hall 1964
Nelson Hall 1965
Stewart Hall 1965
Evans Hall 1965
Heating Plant 1965
Clow Social Science Building 1966
Gruenhagen Conference Center 1966
Elmwood Commons 1966
Scott Hall 1967
River Commons 1967
Arts and Communications Building 1970
Titan Stadium 1970
Nursing / Education Building 1970
Blackhawk Commons 1970
Kolf Physical Education Building 1971
Facilities Management Building 1978
Field Studies (Aquatic Studies) Center 1979
Ceramics Lab 1988
Campell Creek Service Building 1988
Student Recreation and Wellness Center 2007
High Avenue Parking Ramp 2007
Horizon Village 2011
by Linn, Molly M last modified Jun 05, 2013 09:54 AM