The Student Services Finance Committee passed the Recreational Sports proposed budget for the 2016-17 financial season Monday and discussed Wisconsin Union’s budget proposal.
With eight votes for and one abstention, SSFC approved the Rec Sports proposed budget of $4,419,900. The budget consists of a $1.85 increase, which will raise student worker wages to $9.00 per hour. The approved budget will also help prepare Rec Sports for the upcoming SERF, Natatorium and Nielsen Tennis Stadium renovations.
Rec Sports presents master plan to update recreational facilitiesAssociated Students of Madison’s Shared Governance Committee listened to University of Wisconsin’s Recreational Sports presentation on its master plan to update recreational Read…
The floor then turned over to the Wisconsin Union, which is asking for a 2016-17 budget of $51.3 million in revenue, in order to continue providing events like free music performances, Hoofer outdoor recreation programs and Summer Terrace music, as well as free meeting rooms for student organizations, lounge and work space and student jobs.
Jane Oberdorf, assistant director of the Wisconsin Union, discussed funding distribution. Sixty-four percent of the funds will go to operating revenues, 21 percent to student segregated fees, 14 percent to Union Building Project segregated fees and 1 percent to dining, catering and other retail operations, Oberdorf said.
“These figures include the $7.4 million in segregated fees for the Union Building project which was approved by a student referendum in 2006,” Oberdorf said.
The Wisconsin Union will use these funds for direct operating expenses, cost of goods, facility expenses, state and UW assessments and program expenses, Oberdorf said.
The proposal reflects the assumption that the Terrace will open May 2016, six weeks early. The first floor will reopen around September 2016, and second, third and fourth floors will reopen in 2017-18, Oberdorf said.
The newly remodeled Memorial Union will include a new and expanded Terrace, an integration of the Terrace and Alumni Park, expanded Terrace activities such as free board games, morning yoga classes, a concierge service to help patrons navigate Memorial Union facilities and double the number of restrooms, Oberdorf said.
New dining units will also open, she said, including a new Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Badger Market and Rathskeller, a fresh salad and sandwich concept named Carte, Italian street food in Strada and a new Daily Scoop doubled in size.
Mark Guthier, Director of Wisconsin Union, said they made the budget plan conservative in case they couldn’t meet the schedule, but things worked out pretty well.
“We were set to open July 1, 2016, but we did not have a hard winter that prohibited construction during the winter so we were able to stay on time,” Guthier said.
A deficit of -$102,233 is anticipated for the 2016-17 budget year. This reflects the ongoing renovation project at Memorial Union. The building project will continue to impact the budget because the first floor won’t open until September, two months after the start of the 2016-17 fiscal year, Oberdorf said.
Also, floors two through four will not reopen until late 2017, meaning rental and catering revenues will continue to be down significantly due to the continued loss of large spaces like Great Hall and Tripp Commons, said Oberdorf.
The meeting ended with SSFC discussing its own 2016-17 requested budget of $154,628.55, which will be under discussion for a few more weeks. SSFC members are going to tour Memorial Union within the week and will reach a decision regarding the Wisconsin Union’s proposed budget in their next meeting.