College News

Evers’ budget proposes funds for UW Athletics renovations

Gov. Tony Evers’ proposal includes millions of dollars dedicated to facility renovations across the UW System.

Image By: Katie Scheidt

Among Gov. Tony Evers’ recommendations for the biennial state capital improvement projects is $1.96 million to fund renovations throughout the UW System. Evers announced his proposals for the budget last week.

Included in his recommendations are several large-scale projects across the system, with a large amount of funding directed toward UW-Madison athletics. 

Evers proposed a $48 million renovation of the Kohl Center to include academic services for student athletes and a $78 million plan to renovate the Camp Randall Stadium south end zone bleachers to include field-level club space aimed at generating more funds. 

The proposal also includes nearly $130 million for a UW-Milwaukee chemistry building, $128 million for the UW-Madison Veterinary Medicine Addition & Renovation and $109 million for the UW-Eau Claire Science/Health Science Building. 

The system’s budget requests fit into a larger six-year plan that will outline its general renovation goals. Past administrations have hesitated to fully fund biennial requests, including former Gov. Scott Walker, who told UW System leaders not to expect increases in state funding last May. 

The governor’s plan more than triples Walker’s $803.4 million recommendation for the current two-year budget. 

System leaders expressed their satisfaction with Evers’ proposal in the following days. 

“Our challenges are significant as we seek to update antiquated buildings and systems to ensure the safe and modern learning environment students expect,” UW System President Ray Cross said in a press release.

Evers’ requests, much like his $83.5 billion biennial budget proposal, must go through the legislative process to become enacted. This procedure includes passing through the Committee on Joint Finance and the State Building Commission — both controlled by Republicans. 

“At a first glance, the level of spending and bonding is alarming — even after the massive tax increases and spending hikes the governor put forward in his biennial budget,” Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said in a statement. “We’ll continue to review the capital budget proposal and discuss it as a caucus moving forward, but Senate Republicans are committed to protecting hard-working Wisconsin taxpayers.”

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