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UW Housing officials get creative with more students on campus

MADISON (WKOW) — UW-Madison’s freshman class keeps growing and UW Housing is getting creative to find space for them all.

A record-breaking class of more than 6,800 joined UW last fall, getting even bigger this year.

“There has been a planned growth of around 250 increased freshmen,” said UW Housing Director Jeff Novak.

Novak says his team is focusing on adding new dorms and working on renovation projects on several aging ones, like Witte Hall, which is being unveiled this school year with 125 more beds.

“Within the last 10 years, we’ve probably had added about 700 beds on campus, wanting to be able to house every freshman who desires to live on campus,” he said.

Still, 150 rooms will have three students in them this fall, which is 50 more than last year. And as in previous years, some will live in lounges, waiting for others to move out of housing or leave campus. Plus, a dorm reserved for a special farming program is being used.

“We use about 20 there this year and and then move them back into the other residence halls as openings come,” said Novak.

92 percent of incoming freshmen choose to live in the dorms, but many older students have opted not to return with more apartment options in Madison, which has helped the overcrowding problems.

The university is planning on renovating Sellery Hall next, adding 250 more beds there by the fall of 2023. Work is expected to start next summer on the three-year project.

Jennifer Kliese

Weekend Anchor and Reporter, 27 News

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