Madison Area Technical College will be able to build its South Side campus in its entirety, rather than in stages, after securing more than $20 million in funding, officials announced Tuesday
Classes would begin as early as fall 2019.
MATC, also known as Madison College, will break ground on the facility, to be called the Goodman South Campus, at the corner of South Park Street and West Badger Road in June, said Keith Cornille, chief student services officer.
He anticipates that the 75,000-square-foot building will be completed in time for the fall 2019 semester.
“We are going to build. We are committed to building. We are committed to South Madison,” MATC President Jack E. Daniels said at an event Tuesday. “It’s going to have a tremendous impact.”
The original plan was to build a 45,000-square-foot building first and further increase the space when more donations came in, but Cornille said the Great Lakes Higher Education Corp. and Affiliates has pledged up to $10.2 million — on top of more than $10 million donated by other organizations — to ensure the campus could be built in one phase.
In total, up to $23.8 million has been secured, including a $10 million donation from the Goodman Foundation and $1.3 million from the American Family Dreams Foundation.
The current structure at the site, which houses the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds, will be demolished to make way for the new building, Cornille said. College officials had determined that it wouldn’t be cost-effective to renovate the building in a way that would create a suitable learning environment.
Cornille said the funding allows necessary student services — like career advising, disability resources and tutoring — to be in place when the campus opens. Were the campus to be built in phases, those services would have been placed at other locations such as the Truax Campus on the North Side, he said.
In addition to the learning environment for students, Cornille said the campus will provide community services to residents of the South Side, a racially diverse and predominantly low-income swath of the city’s population. The campus will be open seven days a week and provide community gathering spaces.
Cornille said the campus “will forever change the face of south Madison, and more importantly, transform the lives of those living in this part of the community.”
Daniels said the campus will allow the college to enhance and expand its partnerships with nonprofit and faith organizations, noting the surrounding area is home to groups including the Urban League of Greater Madison, Centro Hispano of Dane County and the Omega School.
Classrooms will be designed with partition walls that could be moved to create larger rooms and spaces that will be available for use to community organizations, Cornille said.
Another office space will be dedicated to community organizations that could help students with things such as housing or food instability, Cornille said. Discussions to create a schedule for those organizations to use the private offices on a rotating basis are in the beginning stages, he said.
MATC announced in October that it would seek to construct the 75,000-square-foot campus all at once after Great Lakes Higher Education Corp. and Affiliates donated $3 million and said it would match another $3.5 million if the college could raise that same amount of money from the time of the announcement to the end of March.
MATC had fallen short of that mark and asked for the deadline to be extended, project fundraiser Steven Goldberg said, so the corporation restructured its pledge to give up to $10.2 million to guarantee the college could complete the construction project.
Goldberg said fundraising for the campus will continue through construction.
The college has already received approval from the city’s Plan and Urban Development commissions, Cornille said. Final approval is still needed from the Wisconsin Technical College System Board, which will meet May 8.
MATC’s board will meet May 2 to approve a construction company.
MATC aims to leave its Downtown campus in June 2019 and to lease the property to a Missouri-based hotel operator that plans to renovate the existing building and construct a new structure on the block-sized parcel for a 315-room hotel.
State Journal reporter Logan Wroge contributed to this report.