Boots & Sabers

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2109, 09 Sep 19

Stout’s New Digs

When you hear the UW System crying poor again, think of stuff like this and ask yourself, “did this improve education?”

A new fireplace in University of Wisconsin-Stout’s Merle M. Price Commons ties in the history of Dunn County with a gathering place for students.

The  10-foot-6-inch wide by 9-foot-6-inch tall natural gas fireplace is built from Dunnville sandstone, a creamy stone from the Downsville area just south of Menomonie.


Thirty-five sandstone pieces make up the fireplace, weighing in at about four tons. The hearthstone weighs 1,300 pounds.

The fireplace was built by R. J. Jurowski of Whitehall. The blocks were cut by Coldspring out of Cold Spring, Minn. It took workers about a week in August to build the fireplace, moving most of the pieces by hand and mortaring them into place.

“It’s difficult because sandstone is very fragile,” said Tim Abley, site superintendent for R.J. Jurowski.


Menomin Lounge will be open in mid- to late September, with other meeting rooms opening in mid-October. The work is part of an $8.5 million renovation of 19,000 square feet in the building, mostly the first floor and exterior.

Price Commons will also have meeting rooms named for area waterways including Elk Creek, Cranberry Creek, Gilbert Creek and two smaller meeting rooms named for the Hay River and the Eau Galle River, Witucki said.

Price Commons, built in 1967, also has new windows and sills. The new first floor features refurbished offices for the LGBTQ center, the Qube, which opened in April. There is a new main entrance on the east side as well as expanded entryways on all sides.


2109, 09 September 2019


  1. Mar

    I’m sure the vast majority of students will enjoy this fireplace.

  2. Kevin Scheunemann

    No words for the insanity…

  3. jjf

    Only $8 million?  That’s like one Presidential golf weekend.

  4. Jason

    >Only $8 million?  That’s like one Presidential golf weekend.

    Rationalization 101. When confronted with spending, bring up <something else>.

    Thanks Pat, for this gem.  It’s very handy in responding to the internet dum-dums


  5. jjf

    Jason, are you younger than Price Commons?

  6. Pat


    I think that was a comparison, not a rationalization.

  7. dad29

    All the comforts of home.  After all, why else do they go to college?

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