Various maintenance repairs to University of Wisconsin’s recreational sports facilities will be required next year, causing an increase in student segregated fee funding, according to the Division of Recreational Sports.
Interim Director of Recreational Sports Joe Horn confirmed Sunday the need for an overhaul of the heating and ventilation systems, an upgrade to the electric system and a fix to plumbing issues at the Camp Randall Memorial Sports Center, also known as the Shell.
Horn said Rec Sports is still waiting for facilities condition assessments on the Natatorium and Southeast Recreational Facility from the UW Facilities Planning and Management Department. Horn added similar system maintenance, including roof repairs to the SERF, would likely be part of the assessments for both these facilities, which he will receive in the upcoming weeks.
Horn will represent Rec Sports Feb. 18 during its budget hearing with the Associated Students of Madison Student Services Finance Committee. He said the maintenance repairs would increase students segregated fees by $6 per student and amount to about 1 percent of total segregated fees.
However, ASM spokesperson David Gardner said SSFC’s approval of Rec Sports’ budget proposal will not necessarily increase the amount of money students pay for segregated fees next year. That figure will depend on total budget increases and cuts of all student and non-student groups.
Whether these upkeep repairs to all three Rec Sports Facilities is SSFC’s decision, according to Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning and Management Bill Elvey.
“If the seg fee is not approved, they have very limited ability to deal with these kinds of things,” he said.
As is the case with all three of these facilities, Elvey said the building components are old and tired, and must be replaced as a result to maintain building function. There is only so much he and his Facilities Management and Planning staff can do to keep the buildings going.
The SERF was built in 1982 and the NAT was completed in 1961. Elvey noted systems have worn down and building codes have changed in the 30 years or more since the completion of these buildings.
Elvey added the SERF and NAT are the current priorities for Rec Sports facilities, with the Shell a distant third.
“The Shell is in a category of itself,” Elvey said. “It’s on life support. The Shell is pretty much in the end of its useful life. My impression is they’re doing the absolute minimum to keep it going until somebody can come up with a long-term plan for what they want to do with the building.”
Horn said Rec Sports would “love” to conduct a major building project to renovate any of these facilities, however he will need student funding support for that goal to be accomplished.
The primary sources of funding for Rec Sports are segregated fees from students and private investments since the state no longer provides 50 percent of facility maintenance projects since last year, Horn noted.
He said he understands UW’s Rec Sports facilities are not quite up to par, but there is little he can do to upgrade them without more money.
“We know we’re not meeting the demand of the students in terms of space on campus,” Horn said. “When comparing ourselves to peer institution in the Big Ten, we’ve a little behind fallen behind.”