MATC South 2-08282017150015 (copy)

MATC announced plans for a new South Side campus in August.


Madison Area Technical College will build out its new South Side campus sooner than expected, officials said Monday, after receiving a donation that could raise as much as $10 million toward the project.

MATC President Jack E. Daniels said that the philanthropic arm of Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation and Affiliates has pledged $3 million for the South Side campus, plus another $3.5 million in a matching donation.

If MATC can raise $3.5 million to complete the match by the end of March, it would mean a total of $10 million for the project, Daniels said.

That would allow the college to build a 75,000 square-foot campus — including community meeting spaces, additional science labs and permanent space for advising and other student services — earlier than officials had planned.

“Madison College’s new South Campus is on the fast-track to completion,” Daniels said Monday at a press conference announcing the donation.

The college said in August that it would build a 38,000- to 44,000-square-foot facility on the current site of the Badger Road State Office Building, home of the state Department of Employee Trust Funds, at South Park Street and West Badger Road.

The additional space would’ve been added in another phase of the project. Daniels estimated it would likely have taken four to five years to raise money and build the expansion without the donation from Great Lakes.

The new South Side campus is one piece of a plan Daniels has pursued for years to address local racial disparities by expanding MATC’s presence in one of Madison’s historically underserved neighborhoods.

“We all believe that education is the key to better lives,” Great Lakes President and CEO Richard D. George said. “This campus is going to be a critical component of bringing that education to some of the most vulnerable cohorts in our community.”

MATC is also planning to shutter its Downtown campus and lease the block-sized parcel just off the Capitol Square to developers who have proposed a new office building and hotel on the site.

While the South Side campus will be larger earlier than expected, Daniels said the college won’t have to push back its plan to have the facility open by the fall of 2019.

Daniels also said the donation won’t be affected by the sale of Great Lakes’ loan servicing arm to the Nebraska company Nelnet, which was announced earlier this month.

MATC plans to start demolition of the state office building in the summer of 2018.

The college’s governing board already signed off on plans to build a new campus at the South Side site, but will also have to approve the expansion that would be funded by the Great Lakes gift; it will vote on the matter at a meeting Wednesday. The Wisconsin Technical College System Board is expected to take up the proposal at a meeting next week.


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