New "SERF."

Project Overview.

The Southeast Recreational Facility is the most popular recreational facility on campus, welcoming up to 6,000 students and members each day for a variety of activities. Due to its high usage and convenient location in the southeast neighborhood, students overwhelmingly requested that the new “SERF” be completed before the new “NAT.” This is the first major building project of the Master Plan and the second overall project after the Near West Playfields, which is expected to open spring 2017.

With the construction of the new “SERF” scheduled to begin fall 2017, we’re not just building a gym. We’re building the future of recreation and wellness at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. We’re building a campus hub that will better serve our students and members now, and for 50 years to come. Our vision for the new “SERF” is a facility that will allow us to inspire our students, members, and the community to play hard, get fit, and live well.


Student Segregated Fees  $42 million
Rec Sports Gifts $29 million
Rec Sports Program Revenue  $8 million
Athletic Gifts $17.5 million
Total $96.5 million 

* The Master Plan will increase Student Segregated fees $108 through fiscal year 2022 (approved through the 2014 referendum vote).


Construction of the new “SERF” is expected to begin fall 2017. Click the button to see what we’ve accomplished so far and what we still have left to do. For a snapshot of what we’re currently working on, check the graphic below!

View full checklist.

Master Plan Progress Graphic

Facility Features.

New "SERF" Facility Features Graphic
  • 5 levels of activity space, all with abundant natural light
  • 30,400 square feet dedicated to cardio and strength fitness spaces
  • 8 full size basketball courts for multiple uses, including volleyball, badminton, futsal, and special events
  • 5 multi-purpose studios to use for group fitness, indoor cycling, small group training programs, club practices, and student organizations
  • Functional training sprint ramp leading up to a suspended three lane indoor track measuring one-sixth of a mile
  • More than 300 day-use lockers throughout activity spaces with built-in locks to secure personal belongings and prevent theft
  • Dedicated personal training suite for assessments and private consultations
  • Multiple open areas throughout the facility to allow for stretching, core work, and functional training
  • 2 racquetball courts to maintain racquet sport presence on southeast side of campus
  • Dedicated cycle room with theater-style audio, visual, and enhanced lighting
  • Future home of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Swimming and Diving practices and competitions with up to 1,200 spectator seats
  • 50-meter pool (convertible to two 25-yard pools) featuring 29 total possible short course lanes and 25-yard diving well
  • Operable pool floor to allow for zero-depth entry, shallow-water training, and competition lap swimming, making the pool fully ADA accessible
  • Private shower stalls in both men’s and women’s locker rooms
  • All gender/single use bathrooms and showers
  • Bathrooms on every level of the facility
  • All spaces will be ADA accessible, providing fitness opportunities for all users
  • Multiple views within the facility of signature landmarks in Madison, including the State Capitol and Lake Mendota

Floor Plans.

The following floor plans are renderings and final designs may not be exact.


The following images are renderings and final finishes may not be exact.

Transition Plan.

Rec Sports expects a large displacement of users from the SERF, our most popular facility. Several of our current facilities and satellite spaces will help alleviate some of that stress and create additional fitness opportunities across campus.



For more information, please contact John Horn, Director of the Division of Recreational Sports, at