LA CROSSE, Wisc. - Two buildings that had fire damage on the UW-La Crosse campus will be ready when the students come back.
Labor Day weekend, more than 1,950 freshmen will start moving into the dorms and Drake Hall is ready. But that's not all of the new construction that is happening on the campus.
The Drake Hall fire in January had all 270 students relocating for the rest of the year, the cause of the fire is still being investigated. But what once was blackened by smoke and fire is now clean and restored.
"It's almost surreal to see it all back and the way it used to be. People are shocked when they go down and see it. It's exactly the same," said Drake Hall director, Sara Tienhaara.
Tienhaara says she will try to help calm any fears students have when they move back in.
"I think students maybe apprehensive. A lot are returning and they might think, 'the last time I slept here was the night of the fire'," said Tienhaara.
Whittich hall is almost done with its renovations as well after it had an accidental fire in June.
"To have 2 fires in one year was ridiculous," said Tienhaara.
"The Wittich fire happened in June and it was some faulty wiring in a storage room," said President of UW-La Crosse Joe Gow.
Renovations on Drake Hall have been finished but that doesn't mean construction is done with on UW-L campus. Currently there is a new parking ramp being built that will make way for a new student center in 2013.
"Right now the new construction you see on our campus is a new parking ramp and that will be open next summer 2013. That's very important for us because we will build one of our new student centers in one of the current parking lots," said President Gow.
The science building is also going to be renovated and relocated sometime within the next couple years. And there have been some minor additions to the campus as well..
"We put new lights up around the campus to make it a little safer and they also look nicer than the ones from the 1970's," said Gow.