Winona State upgrades spaces around Kryzsko Commons


Carolyn Hauschild

A new gathering area is being built outside of Kryzsko Commons. The new area will include stone benches, ten-foot fire table, and is planned to be ready for use by this year’s homecoming.

Olivia Prondzinski, News Reporter

Students will be seeing some new additions around Kryzsko Commons. The university is adding a gathering place outside of Kryzsko Commons as well as renovating the seating area in Zanes.

Due to the pandemic, Winona State University wanted to provide more outdoor seating for students. The new outdoor gathering place will feature a ten-foot fire table, Adirondack chairs, stone benches and high-top tables. This project has been in the works for two and a half years.

The fire table will be operated by Student Union workers and available for on-campus clubs and organizations to reserve. This space is expected to be done and ready for use by this year’s homecoming. An official name for this space has not been determined yet.

“We intend to have the fire table operating a couple hours a week to show it off and roast marshmallows,” George Micalone, director of the student union and activities, said. “We really want to increase to programmatic functionality by creating this gathering and hangout area.”

Micalone studied other universities with outdoor gathering spaces and wanted to make this possible for Winona State.

The Kryzsko Ballroom will also be expanded. The university utilized the Tau Center for holding events, but due to the sale of West Campus, this is no longer an option.

“With the closure of West Campus, we lost a lot of the event space that we had over there,” Micalone said. “The idea was, let’s take the room adjacent to the ballroom and expand it.”

With West Campus closing down last year, the University wanted more outdoor spaces for students to populate. The new area has yet to be named but will be available for on-campus clubs and organizations to reserve. (Carolyn Hauschild)

The hole between the ballroom and Zanes seating area will be closed to reduce noise between the two spaces.

“It just seemed like the logical thing to do, with event audio pumping across the ballroom, it was causing problems downstairs for students trying to enjoy their food and studies,” Micalone said. The updated ballroom will feature new Zoom technology and additional lighting for the performance stage.

The ballroom and renovated Zanes seating areas are expected to be open by the end of September. The university originally hoped this project would be done before school started but it got pushed back due to material and permit delays.

The university has spent over one hundred thousand dollars renovating both inside and outside Kryzsko Commons. The Student Senate allocated a portion of the money for the projects.

The university does not have any official plans to renovate the meditation rooms located in the Student Activities Center but they do plan on updating them this school year. The WSU Foundation is also currently working on collecting funds and drafting plans for a new residence hall on-campus.