The Ministry, a partnership between the Catholic Newman Community and the Lutheran Campus Ministry, has called the “Big Blue House” on University of Wisconsin-Stout’s North Campus home since 1969. Beginning in the 2012 fall semester, the organization will have a new convenient home on UW-Stout’s Main Campus.
The Ministry is currently renovating the former Yo Dawg location, 710 2nd St., next to Harvey Hall. The building’s interior has been completely gutted and will feature an open floor plan, an accessible basement lounge area, new offices and a kitchen.
“I am so excited to move into the new space,” said junior Allison Suchecki, Student Coordinator of Lutheran Campus Ministry. “It is going to look so nice, and the space will really fit our needs. Most of all, we will get more walk-in traffic and get more people interested in our organization.”
Hard work—from both volunteers who are involved with the organization and community members—has driven much of the renovation.
“About 50 percent of the renovation has been the result of volunteers,” said Tim Schroeder, Lutheran Campus Ministry Coordinator. “Stout faculty, Habitat for Humanity and the Pounding Fathers, a group of retired faculty from Stout, and other community members have helped us save about $30,000 for the project.”
Moving from the only location the organization has ever known—for over 40 years—is a major event, but The Ministry anticipates great advantages for the UW-Stout student body.
“We will not be an event location anymore,” said Schroeder. “The Blue House doesn’t really have the functional space that we need. Right now we just have our Monday and Thursday night events, but it really isn’t accessible to the students on a daily basis.”
Schroeder says the new space will give students a place for relaxation and fun.
“We will have billiards, ping pong and foosball in the basement. The main floor will have comfy seating and have a coffee house feel to it. Students can come go as they please, and just enjoy the space as they want to.”
“It will be open during the day,” said Suchecki. “It will just be a great place for students to hangout.”
On Friday May 4, The Ministry will host “The End of an Era” picnic. The Ministry’s original priest and pastor, Father Bill Jablonske along with Pastor Don Wisner will be the keynote speakers; they will lead a procession from the Blue House to the new space on the Main Campus.
Current members and alumni of The Ministry will be in attendance to witness the blessing of the new building. For more information visit http://theministrystout.org.