Menomonie, Wis. — The tallest structure at University of Wisconsin-Stout will be a little shorter in a few weeks.
Workers last week began removing worn brick at the top of the 214-foot-tall heating plant chimney. It is expected that they will remove the top five to 10 feet of the chimney, said Zenon Smolarek, UW-Stout Physical Plant assistant director.
The project is expected to last three to four weeks. Fall classes begin Wednesday, Sept. 5.
Two workers, wearing safety harnesses, use a ladder on the side of the chimney to reach the top. They have attached scaffolding at the top for a platform. A rope-and-pulley system is used to raise and lower materials. Workers also are repairing the chimney’s lightning protecting system and lights.
A safety area is fenced off around the bottom of the chimney, including along the edge of Third Street E.
The work crew is from Gerard Chimney of St. Louis. A crew spokesman said the UW-Stout chimney is not tall compared with others they routinely work on around the U.S., many of which are 700 or 800 feet high and some up to 1,000 feet.
UW-Stout’s chimney was built in 1965.
Last summer work was done on the second-tallest structure on campus, nearby 168-foot Bowman Hall Clock Tower. New clocks and clock faces were installed. Bowman Hall opened in 1898.