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Joanne Black ’97

Ogg Hall is a landmark on campus that has caused a considerable amount of controversy over the years. Built in 1965, Ogg’s twin thirteen-story towers are home to 950 coed students. Although it’s relatively new for a residence hall, Ogg is slated for demolition in fall 2008.

There are a number of reasons for this decision. Ogg Hall was built in a hurry, along with Sellery Hall, Witte Hall and Gordon Commons, to accommodate a doubling of enrollment between 1959 and 1965. Ogg needed some serious updates, which are cost-prohibitive because of its unwieldy design. And Ogg’s imposing towers don’t fit in with UW-Madison’s current master plan, which envisions open space and a community-oriented atmosphere. In coming years, an east-campus pedestrian mall will run from Lake Mendota to Regent Street, straight through the spot where Ogg now stands.

Although Ogg will be torn down, the name won’t be lost. A brand-new Ogg Hall is being constructed nearby on the corner of West Dayton and South Park streets, across from the Kohl Center, and will open its doors in August 2007. The university’s newest residence hall offers enticing amenities, such as a cluster-style floor plan with shared bathrooms among eight people, private classroom space, air conditioning and a technology center. Ogg’s residents will still dine at Gordon Commons or Pop’s Club, and will pay a premium price to live in the new facility.

Residents of the “old” Ogg Hall will be happy to know that although their former “home away from home” will be wiped off the map, it won’t be going to the landfill. There aren’t any plans to offer commemorative bricks to alumni because Ogg Hall will be torn down bit by bit so its materials can be recycled.

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