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Friday, January 28, 2022
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Over 100-year-old infrastructure under Bascom Hill will be under remodel in the coming year. 

UW-Madison plans to upgrade Bascom Hill infrastructure

UW-Madison plans to upgrade Bascom Hill’s underground infrastructure as a part of the Campus Master Plan. 

With a budget of $43,000,000, UW-Madison will start a project in late April that aims to replace the steam, chilled water and electrical power infrastructure beneath Bascom Hill. 

According to university officials, the project will reconstruct thermal utilities (steam, condensate and chilled water), electrical utilities (primary electric and signal communications) and civil utilities (domestic water, sanitary sewer and storm sewer) underneath Bascom Hill.  

The area between North Charter Street and Music Hall along Lathrop Drive and between Bascom Hall and North Park Street north to Observatory Drive will be affected by the project. 

Along with the construction of utility systems, the surrounding areas of the project will also be fully reconstructed, including roadways, sidewalks, the lawn and site structures. 

The water thermal lines under the hill are close to the end of their service lives, according to Jeffrey A. Pollei, the director of utilities and energy management in UW–Madison Facilities Planning & Management.

“We don’t think about utilities when they work. But when they don’t, you quickly develop a deep appreciation,” Pollei said. 

The project is part of UW-Madison’s 2015 Master Plan, which was required by the Wisconsin State Building Commission under the UW System Board of Regents’ policies. 

According to Division of Facilities Planning & Management of UW-Madison, the project will be be completed in three phases, and is expected to finish in December 2020. 

“It’s been an idea for 15 years that it’s finally time to do,” Pollei says.

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