With a fast-approaching March referendum, Recreational Sports has already guaranteed 43 percent of the funding required for its Master Plan from alternate sources that do not rely on student fees.
John Horn, Rec Sports director, said in an interview with The Badger Herald the organization has obtained 43 percent of guaranteed funding for the Master Plan through a combination of state money, gifts, the University of Wisconsin Athletics Department and Rec Sports program revenues.
The acquired funding equates to about $97 million of the $223 million estimate for the plan, Horn said.
In an email to The Badger Herald, Horn said the funding split was decided with some assumptions.
The Associated Students of Madison recommended students should not be responsible for more than 60 percent of funding, Horn said. With the outside funding, students would likely be responsible for 57 percent of project funding, he said.
The UW Foundation and Chancellor Rebecca Blank have “stepped up in a big way,” and they feel very confident that the funding will be secured, Horn said.
State funding will go directly to the Natatorium, where the educational components will be rebuilt, Horn said. State funding can only be acquired for the Natatorium because it serves as an academic building as well as an auxiliary facility. The Natatorium currently houses the departments of kinesiology, athletic training and occupational therapy.
The Athletic Department will supply funding for significant upgrades to the existing South East Recreational Facility pool as well as the addition of amenities at the new Natatorium site, Horn said.
Rec Sports program funding was added following additional analysis of the budget for the master plan, he said.
“We do not intend to come back to students for any additional segregated fee increases toward the capital projects within the referendum,” Horn said. “Any operational increases will need to be approved through the Student Service Finance Committee in future years.”
Ian Malmstadt, leader of Badgers for Recreational Reform, said he feels confident about the outcome of the student vote.
The organization has been educating students about the master plan by visiting student organizations and flooding social media about the need for more space and better facilities, Karlie Tetchlag, the organization’s spokesperson, said.
Rec Sports and Badger for Recreational Reform have spoken with many freshman, along with club and intramural athletes, Malmstadt said. Their goal is to educate the students about what is being done with their money, he said, adding it is important for students to realize that this is an important investment.
“When we talk to students about the stone-cold facts, they see that we are being responsible with our money, with their money, so I encourage students to get as much information as possible,” he said. “It is an investment, but it is a responsible one.”
Blank could not be reached for comment.
Rachel Jones contributed to this report.