Rec Sports Master Plan

Enhancing the UW-Madison experience.

About the Plan

The Rec Sports Master Plan includes designs for the renovation and expansion of indoor and outdoor recreational facilities at UW-Madison in order to better meet the space demands and programming interests of UW-Madison students. Total cost of the project is estimated at $223 million (more financial information available below). Please note that the images presented here are conceptual, not finalized, designs. 


SERF

  • 9 regulation-size courts for Basketball, Volleyball, Badminton, Futsal, etc.
  • 9 multipurpose rooms
  • 7 laps/mile on a new indoor track
  • 6 racquetball/squash courts
  • 3 times the current amount of cardio + strength fitness space
  • PLUS renovations to existing 50-meter pool and a wellness suite

NATATORIUM

  • 12 regulation-size courts for Basketball, Volleyball, Badminton, Futsal, etc.
  • 7 times the current amount of cardio + strength fitness space
  • 6 multipurpose rooms
  • 6 racquetball/squash courts
  • 4.5 laps/mile on a new indoor track
  • PLUS an 8-lane recreation & instruction pool, indoor turf field, ice rink, and wellness suite


OUTDOOR FIELDS

  • 5 Flag Football fields at Near West
  • 5 Soccer fields at Near East (including one championship field)
  • Lighted fields
  • Ecofill turf (made from recycled materials)

January 2014 Public Meeting Presentation


FINANCIAL INFORMATION

  • Total project cost is estimated at $223 million (SERF, Natatorium, and Near East & Near West Fields)
  • Students’ segregated fees will increase by no more than $108 per semester, keeping segregated fees dedicated to campus recreation less than the equivalent Big Ten average of $145.06
  • Alternative funding sources will account for a minimum of 43% of the project (these sources include gifts, the State, UW Athletics, and Rec Sports program revenue)
  • At the request of students, Rec Sports has successfully kept students’ funding proportion to less than 60% of the total project amount (segregated fees will account for 57% of the total cost). This amount is consistent with student fee support in the overall Rec Sports budget.
  • Should additional funding from alternative sources become available, these funds will also offset the increase in students’ segregated fees
  • Due to the amount of alternative funding already committed to the Master Plan (pending students’ support in March), Rec Sports is in a position to minimize increases in segregated fees until a new facility opens

82 comments on “About the Plan

  1. d. ruggiero
    March 10, 2014

    It does seem pretty obvious that 40,000 people would use an outdoor track, but maybe I’m not being sensible about prioritization/ seasonality of when students are on campus? we don’t need a track to run…that is true…(that indoor track is awesome, but still doesn’t meet the demands)… maybe students can use the McMillian track? if not, the answer seems obvious: put a track around the outdoor soccer fields (1/2 mile laps, or whatever it ends up being)..would be awesome
    tracks and soccer fields go well together (create an extremely versatile space).

    • wisconsinrecsports
      March 10, 2014

      Thanks for this input, Daniel!

  2. Bill
    March 6, 2014

    Have you considered operating at longer hours of the day? Many of the other Big ten campuses with similar amounts of rec centers have a longer open period. I used to be able to get to the gym at 5:30 am and work out with plenty of time to get to a job or work that required me there at 7:30 or 8:00 am. A lot of focus is placed on the evening work outs which is understandable but opening at 6:30am is one of the latest opening rec sports facilities in the big ten with exception to Michigan State.

    • wisconsinrecsports
      March 6, 2014

      Thanks for the suggestion, Bill. We will pass this concern along to our facilities staff.

    • wisconsinrecsports
      March 6, 2014

      Our Facilities staff agrees with you and will be discussing this topic soon. Thanks, Bill!

  3. pool
    March 4, 2014

    will there be room for the nat to host the big swim meets it has hosted in the past. from the images it looks like there is limited deck space and no spectating area.

  4. steve
    February 25, 2014

    I really dislike how “cardio + strength space” is linked together for a 3x upgrade to SERF.

    How much is each to increase?

    • wisconsinrecsports
      February 25, 2014

      Steve, the reason this is linked together is because the plans are not finalized. Everything you see is conceptual. So in the current concept, we could have 3 times more fitness space to be allocated based on current demand for each of these spaces. However, we have heard quite a few comments from students about the amount of lobby space. Because no formal design has taken place, we could easily convert some of the “free zone” and lobby space into additional cardio or strength space. Does that make sense? Please let us know if we can clarify anything further for you.

  5. Active SERFer
    February 24, 2014

    1) Where can I find the blueprints for these plans? A few artists’ rendering images do not capture actual floorplans and space usage.

    2) What is the environmental impact to renovating the outdoor fields?
    These are two questions I cannot find answers to on your website.

    I agree that the spaces need to be updated and renovated and I am willing to spend more to do so. I use these spaces on an almost daily basis.

    I will not vote for this plan.

    I disagree with the space allotment and design that you show on the website. I don’t want to be in a huge fishbowl when I’m on a fitness machine, nor do I want to have to walk up and down stairs because I want to use free weights and weight machines in the same workout. I think losing UW swimming space is unacceptable. I think putting in outdoor space and not including an outdoor track is appalling. I think any outdoor spaces that infringe on wetlands does not begin to be made up for by building green buildings. What are other options? I would vote yes to renovate the facilities. I will not vote yes to this plan as it is given.

    • wisconsinrecsports
      February 25, 2014

      Rachel, official blueprints are not yet available as no formal design process as taken place. The designs and images you see are exactly what you mentioned… they are renderings. Formal design will be established through a bidding process pending students’ support of the Master Plan. Rec Sports will continue to listen to students for feedback and insight regarding amenities and design. However, you can look through our News & Updates link for conceptual layouts given the renderings you see on our sight. For example, here is a link to the layouts for the SERF: http://uwmadisonrecsports.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/serf-layout-concepts-revealed/.

      Environmental impact studies will be performed once funding is approved for the Master Plan. In order to have this funding, students must vote to support the plan March 3-5 in the ASM Spring Elections (www.asm.uwsc.wisc.edu). More information about environmental impact studies can be found here: http://uwmadisonrecsports.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/clarifications-to-concerns-about-environmental-impact-of-master-plan/.

      As you can imagine, Rachel, it is difficult to design a plan that meets every individual’s needs and requests. One of the advantages to having open facilities is that these spaces provide for adaptive programming — as trends in fitness and recreation change, along with the needs of students, this flexibility in design provides an opportunity to serve the needs of Badgers for decades to come. That being said, the concepts you see are merely concepts and not final.

      We are hoping that students will exercise their right to vote, considering the alternatives to their decision, and that they will make responsible and informed decisions, considering the impact their choices have on future Badgers.

      Thanks for your comments. Please let us know if you have additional questions.

      • Patrick
        February 28, 2014

        RecSports, your response is exactly why this vote should not be happening: you haven’t done your due diligence. You are asking the student body to right you a blank check for $223 million dollars without actual plans.

        Why should the student body be forced to vote based solely on artist’s sketches? Use all the pledged money to get actual plans, then we can vote on whether to go forward or not.

      • wisconsinrecsports
        March 1, 2014

        Patrick, the plans you see are concepts which could very well develop into formal designs. We are not asking students to vote on design — we are asking students to vote on funding and to decide how/where they want their seg fees to be spent. Should the referendum pass this coming week, the plan must go through several other stages of approval before a formal bidding process would begin.

        Rec Sports has listened to students’ feedback from the time the Master Plan process started — in fact, it was student government who requested we reopen the Master Plan and consider options for improving the facilities. Students requested that the original Nat design (released in the fall) be downsized — we listened. Students requested we keep their financial contributions consistent with the current funding model (less than 60% of the overall cost) — we listened and have guaranteed students would pay no more than 57% of the project funding.

        If students vote to pass the plan, we will continue to engage students in conversations about design. We have already heard that students would like less “free” space based on the current designs. These are the types of conversations we hope to continue with students to ensure that the new facilities reflect students’ feedback (obviously recognizing that we will not be able to meet every individual’s requests).

  6. Ahmed
    February 20, 2014

    How will renovations affect the working hours of the facilities in either case?

    • wisconsinrecsports
      February 20, 2014

      If students vote to support the Master Plan, the facilities will be closed one at a time for construction. While the SERF is down, the fitness (cardio, strength, and free weights) will be relocated to Ogg Hall right next door to the SERF. Gordon Commons will house some additional programming, and the Natatorium and Shell will remain open during that time. While the Natatorium is being built, the new SERF will be open and Holt Commons and Eagle Heights Community Center will provide alternative workout locations on the Lakeshore side of campus.

      If students do not support the Master Plan, the existing facilities could experience some closures for several months at a time. We would look into providing some alternative workout locations during that time as well.

      Let us know if you have other questions!

  7. hockey4all!
    February 19, 2014

    Will the new hockey rink be in addition to the Shell or a replacement for it? With all the demand for icetime on campus, there is rarely any open hockey offered during the week, (with minor exceptions only at a few scattered times of the year), only the ridiculously overcrowded Sunday open hockey sessions. Clearly there is a need for at least one more rink (accessible to more than just varsity or club athletes) on campus, if not two more rinks to be able to offer open hockey multiple times of the week on a regular basis to relieve some of the overcrowding we now see.

    • wisconsinrecsports
      February 19, 2014

      We have no plans to remove the ice rink from the Shell.

  8. PoorBadger
    February 18, 2014

    With the current financial plans placing the majority of the cost for such a project on the students, I cannot vote for this.

  9. Concerned Badger
    February 18, 2014

    It looks to me in these projected floor plans that there is substantial space being designated to lobby areas and not much designated to expanding cardio workout areas. The courts look nice, but are not beneficial to a large majority of students who just want to go workout on a machine for half-an hour a day. What is the projected maximum capacity for users solely looking for cardiovascular machinery?

    • wisconsinrecsports
      February 18, 2014

      Any images you see are concepts only and are meant to show ideas and possibilities rather than finalized layouts. A formal design process will begin pending results of the referendum in March.

    • hockey4all
      February 19, 2014

      I wouldn’t so narrowly limit that concern about priorities only to access to cardio machine areas. Sure, people like to use those machines, but working out on machines is only a very tiny part of a balanced fitness regimen, which requires all kinds of different facilities, swimming pools, hockey rinks, running tracks, and on and on. We should make sure that we don’t waste money on fancy lobbies at the expense of functional spaces. Take a look at the new Sun Prairie ice arena. Sure, it’s a huge improvement over the old rundown arena it replaced and it has two rinks instead of one, but what stands out the most is that is has a big expensive fancy lobby area, yet the player facilities in this brand new “state of the art” arena fall far short of those in local arenas built even 20 years ago. Don’t make the same mistake in the recsports plan.

      • wisconsinrecsports
        February 19, 2014

        Thanks so much for your input. We have heard a lot of concerns about the “lobby” and sitting areas so we will certainly be considering those opinions when it comes time for formal design. Right now, we want to merely show options and concepts. But please know that we will continue listening to students’ input throughout the entire planning process. Thanks!

  10. Curt
    February 12, 2014

    Who does this really benefit in the long run…the university. They are the ones that will be able to charge more for tuition in the future because they have nicer facilities. Really there is little benefit to students, any one student will only be able to benefit for at most five years. Generally, the party benefiting from some upgrade to the degree the university will pays for it. UW rec has a great PR department to make it seem reasonable that the university shouldn’t pay for these upgrades.

    • wisconsinrecsports
      February 14, 2014

      Curt, thank you for your comments. The chancellor and UW Foundation have stepped up in a huge way and have committed a significant amount to the total project cost. UW Athletics, the State, and Rec Sports program revenue will also contribute to a minimum of 43% of the overall funding. Students are asked to pay for no more than 57% of the project, a proportion that reflects students’ contribution to the overall Rec Sports budget. Rec Sports was asked by student government to keep this proportion below 60% and we are very pleased to say that we have been able to meet that request. Should additional funding for the project become available, this will continue to decrease the contribution of students.

      • Concerned Badger
        February 18, 2014

        I agree with Curt. To keep students’ contribution to be below 60% is still a huge part of the cost for this project (simple math obviously shows that if the project is projected to cost $223M and students are covering 57% of that (127,110,000) and there are 15,000 eligible users for the facilities, then that is $8474 that is to be projected over those 15,000 users. That seems unreasonable to me, especially for students that will likely never see the full benefits of their investment during their time here on campus.

      • wisconsinrecsports
        February 18, 2014

        We are not asking students to pay for facilities until a new facility opens. 57% reflects students’ current contributions to the overall Rec Sports budget.

  11. James
    February 12, 2014

    I will second what Josh said. I am wondering the exact same thing. As a current student at UW Madison, I really am most interested in what will effect me in the next four years.

  12. Bill
    February 11, 2014

    How long would the increase in seg fees be in effect?

    • wisconsinrecsports
      February 14, 2014

      The increase in segregated fees would be in effect for the duration of the 30-year bond.

      • Patrick
        February 28, 2014

        Has the actual accounting on this funding been posted somewhere and I’m missing it?

        Here’s my back of the envelope calculation:

        $108 per semester
        $216 per year/student
        43,000 students
        30 years

        $216 x 30 x 43,000 = $278,640,000

        I think RecSports should post how they come to the 57% number they are quoting.

      • wisconsinrecsports
        March 1, 2014

        The short answer is that, similar to paying for a new home, the bonds for new facilities will have interest rates that require additional payments beyond the principal amount.

        Rec Sports has stated that student segregated fees will cover no more than 57% of the cost of design and construction. Total project cost is $223 million. The student share of project cost is currently estimated to be $123,450,000, which is actually 55.4% of $223 million.

        Each partner in the project will either pay cash up front or will borrow their funds by issuing bonds. This is similar to financing of the purchase of a home. A portion of the cost will be paid with a cash down payment and the rest will be financed through a “mortgage”. Any partner that issues bonds will, of course, be responsible for paying interest on the bonds in addition to repayment of the principal.

        Gift funds will come in as cash. The State of Wisconsin will issue bonds for their $30 million. Athletics is likely to issue bonds for some or all of their $7 million. Most of the student’s share of $123,450,000 will come from 30-year bonds. After all bonds have been issued, the annual debt service payment for the student share is estimated to be $8.29 million.

        A fee increase of $108 should generate $8.29 million more per year. The “back-of-the-envelope” calculation of $216 times 43,000 would result in $9.3 million more per year. The actual amount is lower because spring enrollment typically drops by 5% compared to fall and part-time students do not pay the full segregated fee. They pay a rate that is based on the number of credits taken. Approximately 16% of students are enrolled less than full-time.

  13. Brad
    February 11, 2014

    How many years will there be a seg fee increase to fund this upgrade, and how many years would funding be required for the repairs? Seg fees are currently still paying for The Union upgrades as well as the SAC. Secondly, when would the increase in seg fees begin? After the facilities are opened, or immediately? This is a multiple year project, and it wouldn’t seem fair to increase seg fees on order students who would have to deal with facility closures during the upgrades and who won’t be around to use the new ones.

    • wisconsinrecsports
      February 14, 2014

      Brad, the projection is that there will be a 30-year bond on the new facilities so the seg fee increase would be in effect that amount of time. As for the seg fee increases needed for repairs, the SERF and Natatorium are 31 and 50 years old, respectively. Any number of ongoing and unforeseen maintenance/repair projects may arise with these facilities, making it difficult for us to predict the amount of time seg fees would be increased. Please also note that seg fees are conservatively predicted to double (at minimum) just to bring these facilities up to the standards of the years they were constructed (1964 for the Natatorium and 1983 for the SERF). Additional increases in segregated fees would be necessary to address programmatic needs (new basketball flooring, lockers, equipment, etc.) and to bring the facilities up to par in terms of sustainable features and practices.

      The seg fee increases for the new facilities are estimated to occur when the facilities open so that students are not paying for a facility they’re not using. However, we do have alternative locations secured during construction (Ogg Hall and Gordon Commons during the SERF construction, and Holt Commons and Eagle Heights during the Natatorium construction). If the referendum does not pass, increases in seg fees will begin immediately to help fund the capital projects.

      Please let us know if you have additional questions.

  14. Josh
    February 10, 2014

    It would be very helpful in making a decision to know what kind of seg fee increases will take place if the Master Plan is rejected. If the current facilities are repaired, how much will segregated fees go up? From the above description I know that if new facilities are built, the segregated fees will go up by no more than $216 per year. Can you say what the analogous increase would be if students vote for repair rather than new facilities?

    • wisconsinrecsports
      February 10, 2014

      Josh, you’re reading our minds. We are going to release an estimation of this situation yet today. Stay tuned!

    • wisconsinrecsports
      February 11, 2014

      Campus Facility Planning & Management conservatively estimates that seg fees could at least double just to address existing maintenance and repair needs… this does not include any space additions or program improvements, as these projects would require seg fees to rise even further.

      • Josh
        February 12, 2014

        I’m concerned about the choice that’s being presented in the March vote. Here’s my concern. If the master plan is approved, then segregated fees will not go up until the new facilities are ready to use. But, as I understand it, if the master plan is rejected, then segregated fees will go up *immediately* to pay for repairs. If I’ve gotten the facts right, then I think the choices on the referendum unfairly encourage students to vote for the master plan. If seg fees increase only after the new buildings are ready (on the assumption that the master plan is accepted), then seg fees should increase only after repairs on the existing buildings are completed (on the assumption that the master plan is rejected). Again, what I’m requesting is that the delay in payment apply equally to both options: in both cases, people shouldn’t pay until the product is ready for them to use. If seg fees go up right away to pay for repairs, then students who graduate soon will pay for something they never use.

      • wisconsinrecsports
        February 12, 2014

        Josh (and James), you are both understanding the situation correctly. The reason seg fee increases would be minimized (if not fully delayed) until a new facility opens is because we have secured a minimum of 43% of the total project funding for new facilities. If the Master Plan does not pass in the upcoming March vote, those donors would invest no money in the repair/maintenance of the current sites, and seg fees would have to increase to cover those costs. The increases would begin immediately and are predicted to double (at minimum) over the next five years. Current students would still be able to use the facilities while they are being repaired. We understand your point, Josh, and fully appreciate your concerns. We are asking that students consider the fact that these facilities are 30, 40, and 50+ years old and that they have exceeded their usage/life expectancy. Students have the opportunity to decide how their seg fees are invested in the future of the university and what opportunities they want to create for future students. We hope we haven’t confused you further and encourage you to continue bringing your concerns and questions to us directly.

  15. Conor Klecker
    February 5, 2014

    I was told that these plans would remove the only competition swimming pool. If these plans go through, how many competition pools will be on campus?

  16. Mark. D. Hill
    February 1, 2014

    I heard rumors that there is a plan to destroy the only doubles squash court in the state of Wisconsin — now at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium. I think it is shame to spend money to reduce the sports available to UW students and faculty. I am biased, however, because I–and a group of a dozen others–use the court twice per week for exercise, fun, and competition (for twenty five years).

    —Mark D. Hill, Gene M. Amdahl Professor and Chair-Elect of University of Wisconsin-Madison Computer Sciences

    • wisconsinrecsports
      February 1, 2014

      It seems that the rumors are just rumors. We have plans to incorporate both racquetball AND squash courts into the SERF and Natatorium sites. The Nielsen Tennis Stadium, while part of the overall Rec Sports Master Plan, is not included on the referendum that students will vote for in March. The facility is currently not funded by students’ segregated fees and Rec Sports is seeking private gifts to fund any projects at that site. Play on!

  17. Nick F
    January 31, 2014

    Update the CRSC Shell! I’ve already read the response about how its not currently in the master plan due to the other two indoor tracks, but I’m almost positive that the CRSC Shell is in the worse condition out of any of the rec centers. If the Shell was updated as well it would benefit the UW Track and field team, the amount of cardio area and weightlifting equipment could be increased which would allow for space to be made at the Nat for the proper pool and diving well for competitive swimming.

    I feel like I see pictures of these beautiful training facilitates for our student athletes to use, yet I was at the Shell last night and water was dripping from a heating pipe as I was waiting for the one squat rack.

    But I’m going to stop now because I could go on for hours about different configurations between the facilities to maximize the benefit to the UW-campus. Also none of these plans effect current students due to the fact that the first building wouldn’t even be finished until 2020.

    • wisconsinrecsports
      January 31, 2014

      Nick, we apologize for any confusion about the reasons the Shell has not been included in the Master Plan. First of all, please know that we are sensitive to the convenience of this facility and the loyalty of our members who use it on a regular basis. When students asked us to reopen the master plan, they requested we look at our most-used facilities: the Natatorium, the SERF, and several of our outdoor playing fields. Additionally, Rec Sports currently has some money budgeted for continuing to maintain the Shell. We certainly appreciate your passion for that facility and understand your comments.

      We also want to clarify that athletic facilities are separately managed from the campus recreational facilities, with the exception of the tennis stadium, swimming pools, and track which are all shared facilities. A competition pool and diving well are not included in the plans due to the lack of supplementary funding to what students are willing to pay, not because of lack of space. Should additional funding become available, the plans for a facility of this sort are designated for the SERF.

      You are correct that many current students would not be able to use the new facilities as students (they would, however, have the opportunity to join as alumni members). Unfortunately, incoming students and future students are not eligible to vote for the Master Plan. Because a project of this sort has to be voted on by students, there would inevitably be a gap between when the project is approved and when the facilities open just due to the length of the design/construction process. The only way for these improvements to be made is for students to vote to support them in the spring student elections (March 3-5). Note that the current funding model has students’ segregated fees increasing only once a new facility opens.

      We hope that this response has provided some helpful information for you. Please let us know if you have further questions about the project.

  18. Thomas R
    January 28, 2014

    I’m just curious, what would be the total square footage increase for fitness space with these new facilities? I don’t see that information anywhere.

    • wisconsinrecsports
      January 28, 2014

      The increase at the SERF would be around 14,000 square feet. At the Natatorium, the increase would be around 34,000 square feet.

  19. annon
    January 21, 2014

    Do any of the plans include showers that are private instead of large open showers? We arent on the same sports team anymore, I see no reason for such public showers. A bunch of small private showers would be nice…

    • wisconsinrecsports
      January 23, 2014

      Thanks so much for this input! All of the images you see are conceptual and not finalized design. We will certainly consider private shower options if and when the Master Plan is passed in the spring referendum.

      • Antoinette Coles
        January 30, 2014

        This is an important issue not only from aspect of just being comfortable but also an accessibility issue for transgender people. The existing facilities make it very difficult for a transperson to find a place to change let alone shower.

      • wisconsinrecsports
        January 30, 2014

        Accessibility is a huge priority for us with the Master Plan, for both transpersons and persons with disabilities. We recognize that our current facilities are not adequately serving these populations and our goal is to create more inclusive and inviting facilities for all. While designs are not finalized, we are planning for bathroom and shower spaces to accommodate transgender participants.

  20. Sainath Suryanarayanan
    January 20, 2014

    Where are the squash courts in the plan for remodeling the Nielsen Stadium?

    • wisconsinrecsports
      January 22, 2014

      These courts will be incorporated into the other facilities (SERF and Natatorium) as part of the racquetball/squash dual courts. Flexibility in design is one of the major goals of the Master Plan in order to more efficiently use space and accommodate a variety of interests among our participants.

      • Drew
        February 20, 2014

        So with the dual court design, are the squash courts international-sized or similar in design to the current Nielsen ones?

      • wisconsinrecsports
        February 21, 2014

        These are details that will be looked at more closely if/when the students decide to support the Master Plan. We have heard from quite a few squash players on campus, and we will continue to invite and listen to your comments and suggestions throughout that process. Any images you see on our blog or in our facilities are concepts and not final design. Let us know if you have more questions!

  21. swim mom
    January 9, 2014

    12 basketball courts and an ice rink in the Nat but NO pool. We have a Kohl center with both a basketball court and ice , and I thought we just put in a new ice rink for women hockey. Yet we don’t have a 50 meter pool that can host a Big Ten swim meet??? Seems the UW swimmer have sacrificed in the past, isn’t it fair for other UW Big Ten sports have to give up space and money too. With all the concern for concussion in sports why do we support those sports, yet swimming which is a non contact sports gets eliminated. Please explain thanks.

    • Paul
      January 11, 2014

      The Division of Recreational Sports is not part of the Athletics Department. These facilities are recreational facilities for use by all students who do not have access to either the Kohl Center or La Bahn Arena. Also, the new facilities are being built around existing pools.

    • wisconsinrecsports
      February 1, 2014

      Please read more about the competition pool here: http://uwmadisonrecsports.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/rec-sports-responds-to-news-article-pool-questions/. Note that should additional funding become available, the competition pool will be reconsidered with no impact on students’ seg fees.

  22. The surcharge was tacked onto student segregated fees… For more information contact Al Fish or read:

    From Red Ink to Roses: The Turbulent Transformation of a Big Ten Program
    by Rick Telander

    • wisconsinrecsports
      December 26, 2013

      Thanks for the recommendation! Please continue to let us know of questions and concerns you have.

  23. How much will the UW Athletic Department pitch in? $40 million over 20 years would be good.

    In the early 1990′s a surcharge was tacked on against the wishes by the Chancellor to pay for the red ink from a poor Football program and overspending in the 1980′s. It was not popular and many sports were cut, even when the secured private funding.

    Now when students recreational facilities are in a shambles why is there not a surcharge put on Football, Basketball and Hockey tickets to recover some of alumni Bucky Badger support? We turn over all revenue related to Bucky to the Athletic Department and get nothing back?

    Come on Bucky pitch in and help. $5 per football and $3 per basketball and hockey ticket.

    • wisconsinrecsports
      December 26, 2013

      Thanks for your comments. The Division of Recreational Sports is not part of the Athletics Department, although the two do share some facility space. Rec Sports has included and will continue to include Athletics in conversations about the new facilities.

  24. G
    December 10, 2013

    If this plan is primarily student-funded, it’s not worth it — we’re not here to play games.

    • AH
      February 5, 2014

      Coming form a campus house consisting of three healthcare professional students and a health care consultant—->Educate yourself on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle that includes weight training, cardiovascular training, team sports, and individual sports before you post an ignorant comment like that. Sorry but I have zero tolerance for individuals like yourself that spew this kind of nonsense regarding this project. As someone who has been on campus for awhile I find upgrading our recreational facilities the least offensive of UW-Madison’s big money projects that include: The dining facilities, SAC, Union South, Memorial Union Theatre, CHAZEN, and Dejope. UW spends millions turning our dining facilities into palaces where you can go purchase enough caloric garbage to turn this campus into giant pre-diabetic explosion. The least UW can do is ensure students have enough space to burn off all the calories consumed from campus dining. Hope you take a long hard look at yourself as an individual and come to grips with the fact that your attitude towards fitness is exactly what is going to prevent this country from managing its obesity epidemic.

      • G
        February 5, 2014

        I am not arguing against the benefits of exercise — I am arguing against paying for exercise facilities that I am not ever going to be using, and forcing future students to pay for. Why don’t the students just use the facilities available to the citizens in the city of Madison, including (but not limited to) the city parks, Nakoma ridge bike trail, for-profit (and non-profit) health clubs, etc…

        I definitely agree with you that the university has spent far too much money on building replacements, sticking the cost into the “segregated fees”.

        The dining facilities are the model for which this project should be based upon — students pay for what they consume, and can choose healthy or unhealthy choices — but they always have a choice in what they pay for. To put it in perspective, I would advocate a token fee ($200/year, 1/10 parking fee for out-of-bus-line students) for using the student facilities, while dropping segregated fees a bit, if the project moves forwards.

      • wisconsinrecsports
        February 5, 2014

        G, thank you for staying involved in the conversation about the Master Plan. The seg fee schedule will be released soon, but Rec Sports is in a good position to keep fees from increasing until a new facility opens. We feel the same way that you do — that students should pay for the facilities they are using and so we are doing everything we can to make this a reality.

        The question we are asking students to answer for themselves is that if students don’t vote NOW to improve the experience of future Badgers, then when will they? Unfortunately there is always going to be a gap between voting and construction during which a class or two of students may not be able to use the new facilities (although they can join as alumni). This is an opportunity to provide a better experience for the students that come after you. Please continue to educate yourself and consider all the facts when you vote. Thanks again for your comments and suggestions!

  25. Dierk Polzin
    December 10, 2013

    What happens to the Shell, that has been Rec Sports Space for 50 years? You can’t just turn that over to the Athletic Department and reduce space in the fastest growing part of campus WID/Engineering/Union South?

    • wisconsinrecsports
      December 13, 2013

      Great question! At this time, the future of the Shell is undetermined. There is no immediate plan for the Shell to transfer management to any other campus partner. Should this change, any decisions about the future of the Shell will be communicated. In order to insure we maintain the amenities and square footage that currently exist at that site, we have incorporated those features throughout the Master Plan.

  26. RM
    December 9, 2013

    While UW’s facilities could use some upgrades, building large, essentially new facilities largely on the grounds that other schools have more is a losing game — like the cold war, it’s an unwinnable arms race whose ultimate losers are students (and parents) who have to pay the portion of the cost not paid by private donors. Try to make some changes, yes, but explain the need for those solely in terms of what UW students say they need rather than trying to compete with other Big 10 schools.

    • wisconsinrecsports
      December 13, 2013

      We very much appreciate your comment because we have said from the beginning that we are not trying to exceed other Big Ten institutions if those plans are not supported by students. We show the Big Ten comparisons not necessarily to show what we need to beat but to share with students and campus the possibilities that could be available if our Master Plan is to be passed at Wisconsin. We have limited — if not eliminated — the “bells and whistles” from our facilities in order to provide an end product that Wisconsin students will support. In addition, we have worked to stay under the Big Ten average for segregated fees allocated to recreational facilities and programs (Big Ten average is $145.06/semester, while Wisconsin students pay $36.78/semester). We have been working with groups of students, including student government, for over a year to insure that we are representing students’ desires in creating functional, fiscally responsible facilities in our Master Plan.

      Seg fee tolerance has been surveyed and will continue to be monitored all the way up to the referendum (March 3-5) to make sure that we are aligning ourselves with students’ willingness to pay.

  27. John
    November 13, 2013

    What about the Shell (CRSC)?

    • wisconsinrecsports
      December 13, 2013

      Great question! At this time, the future of the Shell is undetermined. There is no immediate plan for the Shell to transfer management to any other campus partner. Should this change, any decisions about the future of the Shell will be communicated. In order to insure we maintain the amenities and square footage that currently exist at that site, we have incorporated those features throughout the Master Plan.

      • Chris Wood
        January 2, 2014

        Yes, “what about the Shell” is a great question, but I’m not sure your response actually means anything. It is almost certainly the oldest and most in need of repair or replacement of any of the UW recreational facilities. Why was it not included in the Master Plan? Does it not get enough use? Is there an indoor track included at one of the other facilities that is covered by the Master Plan?

      • wisconsinrecsports
        January 2, 2014

        There are two indoor tracks included in the Master Plan. One is at the SERF (where we currently have a track, but the new facility would include one that is slightly larger) and the other is at the Natatorium site. Currently there is no track on the Lakeshore side of campus, and this new facility would include a 4.5-lap/mile indoor track.

      • “There is no immediate plan for the Shell to transfer management to any other campus partner. Should this change, any decisions about the future of the Shell will be communicated.”

        Thanks for the potential communication. It seems clear that the Master Plan will allow for the transfer of the Shell to the Athletic Dept.. at a later time. Without any student review, referendum or consultation.

        “In order to insure we maintain the amenities and square footage that currently exist at that site.”

        Which seems to mean NO NET GAIN after all this remodeling at the SERF and NAT as those spaces will absorb the loss of the SHELL.

      • wisconsinrecsports
        February 18, 2014

        The combined square footage at the new SERF and Natatorium is greater than the current SERF, Natatorium, and Shell combined.

  28. Casey Garner
    November 13, 2013

    The fact that we’re the lowest school in the conference in space for exercise and fitness…. should have nothing to do with the reason we decide to build more.

    We should build more… IF WE ACTUALLY NEED IT.

    Prove to me that we actually need it on this campus and then I’ll say yes.

    What is the actual standard? Would the University fit to this standard?

    • wisconsinrecsports
      December 13, 2013

      Campus Facility Planning & Management and the state have done facilities assessments indicating the need to spend tens of millions of dollars to repair and maintain our existing facilities. That is to say that even if the referendum does not pass in March, segregated fees will still rise (and likely sooner than later) so that we can make the necessary repairs to our facilities. Rather than spend the money to replace current infrastructure, we have been asked by campus to put forward a Master Plan for new facilities. It will be up to the students to decide what they are willing to support.

      The standard for fitness is roughly 1.5 square feet of fitness space per eligible user. We currently have 15,000 fitness space at Wisconsin. Judging by the size of campus, you can probably figure that this is well below the standard. You may also realize that overcrowding is a huge issue for our participants (many have to wait in line to use fitness equipment or even to play a game of pick-up basketball during peak hours), which speaks to another reason to increase the scope of our facilities. Finally, we are building a Master Plan that can accommodate campus growth over the next 40-50 years. In order to provide the best Wisconsin Experience possible for current and future Badgers alike, it is important to consider all of these reasons for new facilities.

      Please let us know if you have additional questions.

      • Concerned Badger
        February 18, 2014

        If the school has 97 million dollars saved to put toward changing the facilities, then why would segregated fees for current students have to increase? Why not put that $97M toward fixing what we can? The students who are voting are not the students that will reap the benefits of these facilities. Yes, it may save future students huge increases in segregated fees, but if they are actually able to use these newer facilities proposed that may be enough of an incentive to do so. For the current student body, who will see minimal, if any, changes in these next few years it doesn’t make sense to start paying increased costs now.

      • wisconsinrecsports
        February 18, 2014

        Thanks for your concern. Because of the alternative funding from sources including gifts (not the school), seg fees are estimated to increase only when a new facility opens. Seg fees are conservatively estimated to double at minimum just to return the existing facilities to 1964 standards (Natatorium) and 1983 standards (SERF). Additional increases would be required for programmatic needs, sustainabiliity features, and unforeseen maintenance and repairs.

  29. Mark Meyer
    November 13, 2013

    Um, where’s the CRSC Shell on this plan?

    • wisconsinrecsports
      December 13, 2013

      Great question! At this time, the future of the Shell is undetermined. There is no immediate plan for the Shell to transfer management to any other campus partner. Should this change, any decisions about the future of the Shell will be communicated. In order to insure we maintain the amenities and square footage that currently exist at that site, we have incorporated those features throughout the Master Plan.

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