Planning for the Next 50 Years
Students first asked us to consider a Master Plan for new recreational facilities in Spring 2012. With overcrowded and outdated buildings that do not serve campus demand and that are far behind the national standard for fitness space, the current facilities do not meet the needs of students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
In a March 2014 referendum to the student government ballot, students voted in favor of the Rec Sports Master Plan for new recreational facilities. A record-breaking 87% of students who voted demonstrated their support for the project, which includes new construction of two buildings (the SERF and Natatorium) and two outdoor fields (Near West and Near East).
UW-Madison is consistently ranked as one of the world’s leading academic and research institutions. New facilities will help extend our university’s world-class reputation from the classroom to the overall campus experience. We are not only creating larger spaces that will meet demand. We are creating opportunities for Badgers to PLAY HARD. GET FIT. LIVE WELL. so that they can be more effective students, professionals, and contributors to society. On, Wisconsin!
Natatorium Feasibility Study
During the referendum in 2014, students voted to replace the Natatorium after the SERF. To better understand the scope of the project, please click the button to read a feasibility study report created in collaboration with RDG.
Architect Final Report
We collaborated with Milwaukee-based architecture firm Kahler Slater to create a comprehensive evaluation of the campus’s current recreational facilities and their ability to serve the university’s health and wellness needs. This report summarizes the findings of the feasibility study performed by Kahler Slater and the recommendations that were presented to the University in Spring 2014.
- Athletic Business Blog
- Rec Sports presents master plan, students give feedback (12/11/13)
- 43 percent of funding locked in for Rec Sports Master Plan (1/30/14)
- Rec sports prepares for upcoming student vote (1/20/14)
- Letter to the editor: Rec Sports rethought (2/17/14)
- Vote YES to Recreational Sports proposal come March (2/20/14)
- Letter to the editor: SSFC secretary supports Rec Sports master plan (3/3/14)
- Campus passes Rec Sports Master Plan with wide margin (3/5/14)
- $26 million competition pool added back to Rec Sports Master Plan (5/7/14)
- Rec Sports presents master plan to update recreational facilities (2/17/16)
- Rec Sports renovation plans will make SERF look less like ‘a dungeon’ (9/27/16)
- SERF will accomplish its own new year resolutions with revamped facility (1/20/17)
- New SERF plans clear city committee (1/24/17)
- New SERF plan gets green light from state commission (4/27/17)
- SERF to be renamed the ‘Nick’ in honor of Nicholas family (1/18/18)
- TAA asks UW Athletics to beef up its ‘measly’ offering to rebuild campus rec facilities (2/22/14)
- Students cry foul over UW plan to close the Shell while SERF rebuild underway (5/10/14)
- UW’s plans for rebuilt SERF aim to give students a better workout space (1/13/17)
- Urban Design Commission tells UW to spiff up eastern facade of new SERF design (2/9/17)
- UW-Madison to ask regents for OK to spend $9 million more to rebuild SERF (4/5/17)
- Call it the ‘Nick’: New UW recreation facility to honor philanthropists Ab and Nancy Nicholas (1/16/18)
- Rec Sports suggests updates to facilities (9/3/13)
- Student Council hears rec sports plan (9/19/13)
- Recreational Sports to propose building new SERF, Natatorium (10/23/13)
- Student Service Finance Committee approves Rec Sports Master Plan referendum (12/10/13)
- Letter to the Editor: UW Madison’s College Republicans support the referendum to improve Recreational Sports facilities (2/26/14)
- Vote ‘yes’ on Rec Sports referendum (2/26/14)
- Student Council hears Rec Sports Master Plan (2/27/14)
- Vote ‘yes’ to the Rec Sports referendum (3/4/14)
- Rec Sports Master Plan referendum passes (3/6/14)
- Competition-sized pool funding added to Rec Sports Master Plan (5/6/14)
- Rec Sports director updated on master plan (9/16/14)
- Rec Sports director encourages student involvement in Master Plan (10/23/14)
- Rec Sports factor students into renovation planning (11/6/14)
- Rec Sports director updates ASM Committee on sports facility renovations (11/20/14)
- Board of Regents committee approves next phase of Rec Sports Master Plan (12/4/14)
- SSFC Spotlight: Rec Sports maintains focus on student accessibility, participation (2/23/16)
- SERF officially to be demolished, replaced with bigger gym (4/26/17)
- SERF closing in mid-August, to be demolished in October (6/9/17)
- Daily Reporter
- Journal Sentinel
- Office of the Chancellor
Office of Sustainability
- Proposed Rec Sports Master Plan (2/25/14)
UW-Madison University Communications
- Rec Sports seeks feedback on facilities (10/22/13)
- Students to vote on campus recreational sports improvements (1/29/14)
- Rec Sports Master Plan vote next week (2/26/14)
- UW-Madison to build new competition pool (5/6/14)
- SERF demolition: Out with the old, in with the new
- Nicholas gift spurs upgrade from SERF to ‘Nick’ (1/16/18)
- Wisconsin State Journal
"Education isn't just about the mind. It's about figuring out how to live one's life as an effective and productive person, and that means integrating both the mind and the body."Chancellor Rebecca Blank on the value of campus recreation
Visit our blog
Check out the Master Plan blog for news articles, progress reports, design details, videos, answers to frequently asked questions, and more.
Support the Master Plan
Your contribution to the Rec Sports Master Plan for new recreational facilities reflects your commitment to improving the Wisconsin Experience for students, faculty/staff, and the greater Madison community.
The donation you make today will help provide more opportunities for students to stay active, balanced, and connected to campus. Thank you for your generous support and for your vision of an even better University of Wisconsin.