Badger Road state office building

MATC officials plan to demolish the 60-year-old state office building at Park Street and Badger Road to construct an expanded South Side campus.

JOHN HART, STATE JOURNAL ARCHIVES

Rather than renovate the 60-year-old state office building that sits on the site Madison Area Technical College has identified as the future home of an expanded South Side campus, officials plan to demolish the facility and build one in its place.

Materials submitted to the college’s district board, which were made public on Wednesday, lay out MATC’s plans for the building at Park Street and Badger Road that now houses the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds.

The department is vacating the building next spring and moving into the new Hill Farms state government offices.

The college wants to construct a 45,000-square-foot facility with classrooms, offices for student services and specialized lab spaces to teach students in nursing, early childhood instruction and a range of science programs, among others.

It would open in fall 2019 at a cost of no more than $13 million, officials said. MATC hopes to expand the building early in the next decade to 75,000 square feet.

One lingering question after MATC leaders announced the South Campus Initiative to cheers from local business and community leaders at a press conference Monday afternoon was whether the college would look to renovate the building or tear it down.

College officials wrote to the district board that, “Given the age and condition of the facility and the need for extensive rehabilitation or demolition,” the $2.8 million that MATC will pay a developer for the site “is essentially the value of the land.”

Building a facility will be more cost-effective and better meet MATC’s needs, according to the college.

The project has been a years-long effort for MATC President Jack E. Daniels, who says opening an expanded campus to serve South Side residents will help reduce racial disparities by making the college’s services more accessible in a diverse but historically underserved part of Madison.

Donations from the Irwin A. and Robert D. Goodman Foundation, which contributed $10 million, and the American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation, which gave $1.3 million, will cover most of the cost of buying and building the facility.

The college is also looking to raise $3 million in additional funding for the project, and borrow $1.5 million for new construction, according to the board materials.

The district board will vote both on the chosen site for the South Side campus and the plan to demolish the building during a meeting at 5:30 p.m Sept. 6 at MATC’s Truax campus.

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Nico Savidge is the higher education reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.