Photographer: Maire McMahon '15

Photographer: Maire McMahon ’15


  • Kryzsko Commons is the hub of student activities at Winona State and addresses student needs such as campus dining options, study locations, and meeting and activity space.
  • Kryzsko houses various services and functions, including offices for the Student Senate, the Student Resource Center, the Winonan Campus Newspaper and the WSU Bookstore.
  • Kryzsko Commons has been constructed in several phases. Phase I was constructed in 1964; Phase II was constructed in 1967; Phase III was constructed in 1973.
  • In 1993 an addition to the west side of the building was added to expand the Dining Room.
  • The Solarium Addition was constructed to expand the building to the east in 2005.
  • The west vestibule was added in 2011.
  • Since the last major addition in 1973, WSU’s enrollment has doubled, presenting a demand for additional space to meet the needs of a growing student population.

Project Design and Construction

  • The renovation was designed by Bentz, Thompson, Reitow Architects, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • The general contractor is Alvin E. Benike, Inc. from Rochester, Minn.
  • The majority of subcontractors are regional (Winona, Rochester, Austin, Mankato and the metro area in Minnesota; La Crosse and West Salem in Wisconsin).
  • Construction costs total $4 million.
  • The cost of the project is supported entirely through student revenue accounts, including funding from the WSU Bookstore, student union reserves and student union fees, which are all paid by students.
  • Construction work is on budget and on schedule, with an expected completion date in early June 2014.
  • This project will add more than 7,300 square feet to the building, including over 550 square feet to the WSU Bookstore. More than 23,000 square feet of existing space will be renovated and upgraded with new finishes, updated building systems and improved operating efficiencies.
  • The project includes:
    • Addition of eight new meeting rooms. In recent years, nearly 25 percent of all room reservation requests have been turned down due to lack of available space.
    • Creation of dedicated space for KEAP Student Diversity Center
    • Renovation of two multi-stall restrooms to meet ADA requirements for accessibility
    • Addition of four new unisex accessible restrooms per student request
    • More student lounge and interactive space
    • Renovation and expansion of WSU Bookstore
    • Addition of an elevator near the center of the building to enhance accessibility
    • Addition of fire protection system throughout Phase III building


  • The renovation is designed to reduce operating costs by making the building more efficient.
  • Various interior finish materials have a high recycled material content and a long life cycle.
  • Existing curtain wall windows will be replaced with new, highly efficient windows.
  • The deteriorated concrete ramp and wall along the east side of the building will be replaced with a new, efficient wall system.
  • Reduction of more than $500,000 in deferred maintenance costs.

Kryzsko Who?

  • Kryzsko Commons is named after Sylvester J. Kryzsko, a resident director at Winona State who served from 1951-1965. Kryzsko was the driving force behind a revenue bond program that was used to build residence halls throughout the system.
  • Kryzsko was a member of the Minnesota State College Board from 1951 to 1965, serving as president 1957 to 1961.
  • In 1968 Kryzsko was named Chairman of the Development Council for Minnesota State Colleges, established in 1966 to unify the system and obtain public and government support for system goals.
  • Kryzsko was a local banker, serving as the first president and a director of Town and Country State Bank, and later as president of Winona National & Savings Bank.
  • Kryzsko was well known for his years of public service in Winona, with contributions ranging from banking and politics to higher education. He was active in the community with the Kiwanis Club, YMCA, Red Cross, Winona Area Chamber of Commerce and Winona County Republican committee.

For more information on the WSU Kryzsko Commons Addition & Renovation project visit

About Winona State University

Founded in 1858, Winona State University is a regional public university with nearly 8,800 students. The oldest member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, WSU offers more than 80 undergraduate, pre-professional, licensure, graduate and doctorate programs on its campuses in Winona and Rochester. Winona State ranks as the second public institution in Minnesota in the 2014 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges,” has been named among the “Best in the Midwest” by The Princeton Review for a decade, and has been featured as one of America’s 100 Best College Buys for quality and value for 18 straight years. The university’s mission is to enhance the intellectual, social, cultural and economic vitality of the people and communities we serve: a community of learners improving our world. For more information, visit: