Skip to Content

Thompson: UW System needs funding to prioritize building repairs

Remaining Ad Time Ad - 00:00
Van Hise Hall
Photo: UW System

(WKOW) -- The collapse of part of a building on UW-Madison's campus has alarmed UW System officials.

A concrete slab fell off Van Hise Hall's facade and plunged three stories to the sidewalk on Sunday. UW-Madison officials are investigating how it happened.

No one was hurt, but Interim UW System President Tommy Thompson said Wednesday he does not want to wait until someone is.

"We have several buildings that were built between 1950 and 1970," Thompson said. "They need a lot of maintenance."

Thompson said they are aware of safety concerns at several other buildings on UW System campuses, including Cofrin Library at UW-Green Bay and Albertson Hall on UW-Steven Point's campus. Sunday's collapse at Van Hise Hall came as a surprise.

"Van Hise was not on our list, because we did not think it was as bad as some of these other buildings," Thompson continued. "But it's obvious that Van Hise has also got severe problems. "

Thompson said he wants to make building repairs a priority, but the decision comes down to money. Governor Tony Evers included $1 billion in his Capital Budget for the UW System, with $150 million going toward a general fund for building projects. Last month, the evenly-divided State Building Commission deadlocked 4-4 on recommending the projects, effectively moving the decision to the state Legislature’s GOP-controlled budget committee. The committee is still reviewing the budget.

"I'm not being critical. I'm just stating a fact. There's been a shortage of money for maintenance and renovations, and 83% of the money that we're asking for in this Capital Budget is for renovation and maintenance," Thompson said.

As of now, repairs for Van Hise Hall are not being included in the Capital Budget proposal.

Emily Friese

27 News Producer

Skip to content