Rec Sports Master Plan: What happens if it doesn’t pass?

If the Master Plan is not supported by students, seg fees are conservatively estimated to double to repair and maintain existing facilities.

On March 3-5, students will have the opportunity to vote on the Rec Sports Master Plan for new recreation facilities on campus. Voting will occur online as part of the ASM Spring Elections. The following information details the consequences if students choose not to support the Master Plan, either by not voting at all or by voting against the plan.

What a “NO” vote means (within the next FIVE years):

  • A significant amount of maintenance/repair  issues would be required at all facilities (see itemized list below)
  • Students’ segregated fees estimated to at least double (a conservative prediction from campus Facility Planning & Management) to fund necessary repairs
  • Conservative estimate of $10 increase to address programmatic needs (locker room renovations, basketball court reflooring projects, equipment improvements, etc.)
  • Potential for continued unpredictable expenses and repairs due to age of facilities
  • No additional space would be added to the facilities (in order to address space and program needs, along with sustainability components, seg fees would experience further increases)
  • No alternative funding available to help fund these projects
  • Seg fee estimation: $36.78 x 2 = $73.56 + $10 = $83.56 per semester

Statement from campus Facility Planning & Management (FP&M):

“Regardless of the outcome of the referendum, a significant investment in all of the Recreational Sports facilities, including the SERF and the NAT, is going to be necessary, whether it be in new or remodeled facilities or major repair and maintenance projects.  The condition of buildings has gotten to the point that a significant amount of deferred maintenance items must be addressed immediately or at least in the very near future.  Many of these repair and maintenance projects include major building components and infrastructure-related items such as roof replacements and building envelope repairs.  In some cases, complete replacement and upgrades of mechanical and electrical systems are also required to ensure reliability as well as address capacity deficiencies and meet new building codes.  Some lead paint and asbestos abatement is also needed. Finally, most of the building finishes have also reached the end of their useful life.

While a detailed facility condition assessment performed by an outside consultant would lead to a series of individual projects intended to correct these known deficiencies, FP&M conservatively estimates that the current (seg fee) investment that will be needed to repair and upgrade the facilities will need to be more than double what has been available in the past.  In addition, at the end of this process most/all of the known Rec Sports facilities programmatic needs relating to space and capacity shortfalls would still remain, which would place further increases on seg fees to address.  The list below provides a general overview of projects that UW-Madison Facilities Planning and Management have identified as necessary either immediately, or within the 5 year forecast within the Division of Recreational Sports.”

 Bill Elvey
Associate Vice-Chancellor
UW-Madison Facilities Planning and Management

General Facility Repair & Maintenance Projects Pending 
(All within 5-year forecast, beginning 2014-2015)


  • Exterior cladding and roof-cap repair
  • Elevator replacement
  • North entrance upgrade
  • Emergency/backup generator upgrade
  • Interior finishes repair
  • Air handler/exhaust replacement & DDC
  • Lighting controls, A/V, and clock
  • Pool plumbing equipment replacement


  • Roof areas 1-17 replacement
  • Exterior caulk/tuck point/etc.
  • Emergency/backup generator replacement
  • Electric service & distribution (50%)
  • Hazardous materials abatement
  • Freight elevator replacement
  • Locker rooms: plumbing & partitions
  • HVAC pool area upgrade
  • Building air management upgrade
  • Interior finishes upgrade
  • Pool plumbing & equipment replacement

Camp Randall Sports Center (Shell)

  • Metal roof coating
  • HVAC upgrade – track/ice rink
  • Hazardous materials abatement
  • Electric – light/controls/building service
  • Plumbing – locker/shower rooms
  • Fire detection system
  • Fire sprinkler system
  • Ice rink dehumidification

Nielsen Tennis Stadium (operating costs not funded by seg fees)

  • Roof areas 1-9 replacement
  • Elevator installed (ADA accessibility)
  • Locker rooms – plumbing & partitions
  • Building air management upgrade
  • Electric – building service
  • Fire sprinkler system
  • HVAC upgrade

4 Replies to “Rec Sports Master Plan: What happens if it doesn’t pass?”

  1. If the plan doesn’t pass, what percentage of the renovation costs will come from funding sources other than seg fees? Is it still 43%?

  2. I would like to clarify some information about segregated fees for students, some of whom I know are confused by the updates sent out in the February newsletter to sport club athletes here on campus. Seg fees are predicted to increase to about $40 if students do not vote yes to the Master Plan (from the current $36.78 to $43 in 2014-2015 and possibly to $86 the following year). If students vote yes, RecSports proposes to cap segregated fees devoted to this project at $108 per student. This amount could be increased.

    It is important to remember that these are estimates, but no matter what we are talking about a lot of money. If we’re going to be forced to spend more money either way, let’s make sure this is the plan we want to see implemented before voting yes. Let’s do more than get our square footage of RecSports space up with there with other major universities. Let’s make sure this plan is the most sustainable and the most environmentally friendly in the Midwest, and let’s start with an environmental impact study.

    1. Olivia, thank you for your continued concern about the environmental impact of this project. As previously mentioned, we are already working with the State to conduct these types of assessments and will have the results available later this spring pending the results of the referendum. Please also note that the University Bay Fields are not included in the referendum and have no funding at this point to move those projects forward.

      Another note: seg fees will not INCREASE by more than $108 ($108 is not the cap, which is actually closer to $144… $36.78 in current seg fees for recreation + $108 maximum for new facilities). The estimated change in seg fees if the Master Plan is not supported is double what students currently pay just to return the facilities to the original standards at the time of construction (1964 standards for the Natatorium and 1983 standards for the SERF). Additional increases in segregated fees would be necessary to address programmatic needs as well as to provide any improvements to the sustainability of these facilities.

      Please continue to communicate any concerns or questions you might have. We are happy to provide as many answers as we can!

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