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 Wisconsin slows university construction projects Photo courtesy of the Northwestern.

Wisconsin slows university construction projects

The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh will see a delay in the renovation of one of its academic buildings as a result of state efforts to better manage its debt.

The state initially approved the $26 million renovation of Clow Social Science Center in 2011. The 120,475-square-foot building was built in 1966 and consists of a five-story faculty office building, a three-story-plus-penthouse classroom building and a lecture hall building, according to the Northwestern. The center is in disrepair and its facilities do not accommodate modern teaching methods, according to university administrators. But as a result of the state’s actions, the $26 million renovation project will not be completed until 2017 at the earliest.

The renovation is part of a $1.13 billion construction project that was funded under the state budget, but the entire program has been stalled by the state Department of Administration. The department put much of borrowing for the program on hold in order to prioritize projects because the legislature's Joint Finance Committee voted to reduce new debt in the 2013-15 budget by $250 million.

Two additional University of Wisconsin building projects were also funded this year, including a $28 million, 400-bed residence hall at UW-Whitewater and a $33 million, 350-bed residence hall at UW-Eau Claire.

The university expects that those projects, which have yet to be designed, will be delayed until at least 2018.


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