The final stage of the $86 million Camp Randall renovation, the Fetzer Center for Student-Athlete Excellence, opened in January as a place for student-athletes to hang out between classes and practice.
The opening of the center marks the completion of the third and final phase of the renovations at Camp Randall’s north end and the McClain Center, Jason Holtman, the assistant athletic director for academic services at the University of Wisconsin, said.
The McClain Center, located right below the Fetzer Center, is now the new student-athlete performance center which has new weight rooms, locker rooms and a new training center for student-athletes, Holtman said.
Holtman said private donations and state bonds paid for the renovations, and none of the funding came from taxpayer’s money or from student segregated fees.
The center offers more than just an academic center for student-athletes, Holtman said. The center offers tutoring, study space and advising spaces for student-athletes, he said.
Holtman said he hopes the center becomes a hub for student-athletes.
“We’re trying to alleviate some of the pressure that comes with the regimented lifestyle of a student-athlete,” he said. “Instead of going to class, then home to study then to practice, student-athletes will have a quiet place to study in between classes and practice.”
The center also houses several different departments that work specifically with student-athletes, along with new meeting spaces, he said.
The Fetzer Center includes new study halls, computer labs, meeting spaces, conference rooms and tutoring rooms, Holtman said.
The previous center for student-athletes was located in the basement of the McClain Center, Holtman said. The most noticeable changes from the previous center to the new center are windows, he said.
“The center has a lot of windows now, and the light of day can do a lot for reducing stress,” Holtman said. “Unfortunately, we don’t have any blinds yet, so hopefully it doesn’t get too sunny.”
As an institute for higher learning, students come to UW to better themselves, Holtman said. This includes student-athletes, but they just have an additional obligation, he said.
Wren Singer, director of undergraduate advising, said UW has always provided special services for students with “particular needs.” This includes groups such as students with undecided major, international students and others, he said.
“It makes sense to provide specialized advising and support services for our student-athletes, many of whom face very particular challenges balancing their academics with the demands of participating in competitive sports,” she said.
The center functions much like a library for student-athletes, Holtman said. The building of this new and improved center for student-athletes emphasizes UW’s desire for student-athlete success, he said.
Justin Doherty, associate athletic director, said the addition of the Fetzer Center along with the Forward Strength and Conditioning Center and the Mueller Sports Medicine Center provide student-athletes with the resources to be successful academically and athletically.
“The goal for all of our student-athletes is to graduate,” Doherty said.