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UW-Madison wants to replace engineering building for $355 million

By: Ethan Duran//April 17, 2023//

UW-Madison wants to replace engineering building for $355 million

By: Ethan Duran//April 17, 2023//

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UW-Madison Engineering Building
University of Wisconsin – Madison proposed a $355 million replacement for the engineering building at 1410 Engineering Drive. The Wisconsin State Legislature will consider funding for the project when they decide on the 2023-25 biennial budget. (Rendering courtesy of UW-Madison)

The University of Wisconsin – Madison’s 83-year-old engineering building could see a $355 million replacement, but project funding depends on the 2023-25 biennial budget which the Joint Finance Committee is from hearing advocates about across the state.

The college wants to build a 340,000-square-foot facility to replace one of eight buildings at 1410 Engineering Drive, according to the UW-Madison College of Engineering website said. The project will quadruple the previous building’s size and open space for at least a thousand more undergraduates and five hundred graduate students, State Building Commission documents showed.

“We’re at the end of the pre-planning phase, and state of Wisconsin just released an RFP for a construction manager for the project. We believe our state leaders appreciate the value our college already contributes to Wisconsin through its graduates, technology and economic impact. We are confident the legislature and governor understand the College of Engineering’s need to grow so that it can increase those contributions to our state, and beyond,” Grainger Dean of the College of Engineering Ian Robertson said in a statement.

Project officials hope to have construction done by 2028, but it depends on the Legislature to sign the 2023-2025 biennial budget likely this summer. The committee in charge of state finances is touring Wisconsin this week, hosting hearings and taking questions from advocates for countless groups. Legislators will hear from the public for their last meeting in Minocqua on April 26.

The College of Engineering said it will raise a total of $150 million in private funding and needs a $205 million commitment from the State of Wisconsin.

As previously reported by the Daily Reporter, Gov. Tony Evers had included the engineering building replacement costs in his $3.8 billion budget for the State Building Commission and each of his recommendations were voted down by Republican commissioners.

Rep. Robert Wittke (R – Racine) said the no votes were procedural and the capital budget recommendations would be moved onto the Joint Finance Committee for consideration.

The Wisconsin Legislature in spring of 2022 allowed the school to have $1 million to continue planning the building, according to the engineering school website.

According to UW-Madison, every Wisconsin county has residents who are College of Engineering alumni. Nearly three quarters of Madison graduates stay and work in the Midwest and half of the school’s engineering undergraduates are from Wisconsin.


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