The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents unanimously approved millions of dollars in funding for renovations on Witte Residence Hall and Memorial Union at their meeting Friday.
At the meeting, the board finalized all budgetary concerns discussed the day prior, including increasing student fees in schools across the UW System and drawing from reserve funds. The board also approved a number of other requests.
UW-Madison’s request for a $47 million renovation to Witte Residence Hall was approved. The project aims to add another floor, modify fire sprinklers, add air conditioning and new elevators.
The city of Madison has not yet reviewed the renovations plan. The Urban Design commission will review the plan in late June, followed by the City Planning Commission in July and the State Building Commission in August.
The board also approved UW-Madison’s request to increase the budget for construction on Memorial Union by $4 million, to total more than $50 million.
The money will provide funding for unforeseen conditions during construction, which are detailed in a report from the Capital Planning and Budget Committee. Some of the issues include unexpected structural problems, historical elements that require replacement and mechanical systems in bad conditions.
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UW-Madison also requested authority to sell the historic Knapp House on East Gilman Street and transfer two parcels of land from Stoughton, Wisconsin to the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Regent Tim Higgins said. The parcels’ location is ideal for future academic research. Both requests were unanimously approved.
Application fees for prospective students were among the changes made to rising student fees for the 2016-17 academic school year. Undergraduate fees for UW-Madison will rise from $50 to $60, while undergraduate fees at other UW institutions will rise from $44 to $50. The application fee increase at UW-Madison is partially due to its switch to the Common Application.
The application fees at graduate and professional schools at UW-Madison will rise to $60 and $75 for specific programs.
The regents also approved giving UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank discretion on spending an $800,000 gift from the Eleanor Casebeir Trust, a private donor. The board typically seizes privately donated gifts larger than $250,000 before redistributing it towards projects, but they voted to award the money to the Chancellor so she can spend it on the university as she sees fit.
The meeting concluded with the unanimous reelection of Regent President Regina Milner and Regent Vice President John Behling. All other board members were also reelected unanimously.