Rec Sports facilities are overcrowded, outdated, and far behind the national standards for fitness space per person on a college campus.
In 2012, students approached Rec Sports Director John Horn about reopening a Master Plan for new recreational facilities at UW-Madison. Students specifically requested we consider improvements at the SERF, Natatorium, and Near West and Near East fields.
In March 2014, UW-Madison students voted in a campus-wide referendum to the student government election ballot. 87% of those who voted favored an increase in segregated fees to support new construction at the SERF, Natatorium, and Near West and Near East fields.
An Olympic-sized competition pool at the SERF was added to the project after the referendum passed. Language in the referendum allowed for this amenity to be included in the design without further increases in student fees, providing $13 million of funding became available from additional sources. UW Athletics committed to helping raise the gift money needed for the new pool.
Rec Sports is making every effort to withhold the segregated fee increases until the year the facilities become available and student funding is estimated to support 57% of the total project. Rec Sports program revenue and gift funding will account for the remaining project costs.
Had students not voted to support new facilities, the alternative outcome would have been to maintain the current spaces. Our current facilities require extensive repair and upgrades which also would have required an immediate increase in students’ segregated fees to help cover costs, with no added value to the recreational experience.
Rec Sports participants, student organizations, UW Housing residents, student athletes, and Madison community members were invited to attend open forum events to learn more about the Master Plan projects throughout the campaign. Campus and community feedback was (and still is) encouraged throughout the process.
Students indicated via surveys and other methods that their primary concern for new facilities is additional fitness space (for strength, cardio, stretching, and functional training).
The estimated timeline* for design and construction of the new facilities is as follows:
- Near West
- Design begins Fall 2015
- Construction begins Summer 2016
- Facility opens Fall 2016
- Design begins Spring 2016
- Construction begins Summer 2017
- Facility opens Fall 2019
- Design begins Fall 2017
- Construction begins Fall 2019
- Facility opens Fall 2021
- Near East
- Design begins Fall 2021
- Construction begins Summer 2022
- Facility opens Fall 2022
*All dates are estimates. Many factors contribute to the projects being completed on time, and Rec Sports will continue to communicate changes in the project timeline as necessary.
Alternative sites for workout spaces during SERF construction have been identified. We are partnering with Housing (Ogg Hall will host a temporary fitness center) and other units on campus to continue providing as many programs and services as possible.
YOUR VOICE COUNTS:
Rec Sports will be distributing a campus survey to hear YOUR input on design plans for the SERF. If you are interested in playing a larger role in the Master Plan process, please email Sadat Khan, Associate Director of Member Services and Operations, at email@example.com, or Alex Peirce, Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org.