Chancellor Blank statement on Joint Finance Committee vote on building projects

University of Wisconsin—Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank issued the following statement today in reaction to the Joint Finance Committee’s unanimous approval of the Building Commission and Building Program omnibus motion:

“I appreciate the Joint Finance Committee’s vote today to add two very important projects for our campus to the Capital Budget, and their support of the governor’s recommendation for much needed ‘all-agency’ funding for limited scope maintenance projects that repair, renovate, replace, and upgrade building components and systems.

“The construction of a parking ramp on the west end of campus is a necessary step toward facilitating a badly needed expansion of the School of Veterinary Medicine. The school was built to accommodate 12,000 patients per year, but served more than 26,000 last year. The construction of the ramp involves no state tax dollars and will be paid for by revenues generated by UW-Madison, and will ultimately allow the School of Veterinary Medicine to serve Wisconsin farmers and pet owners better.

“The utilities project is a necessary upgrade to outdated thermal utilities, electrical utilities, sanitary and storm sewers, and water systems along Lathrop Drive and Bascom Hill. The need for the project was hastened by a steam pipe rupture in Radio Hall on our campus this past spring.

“We will continue to stress the need to include these projects in the state budget bill as the legislation goes to the Assembly, Senate and to Governor Walker for approval.”