UW-Baraboo/Sauk Campus gets support for new green dorm

Thursday, October 30, 2008

From an article by Tim Damos in the Baraboo News Republic:
A commission lent its support Friday to a campus master plan expected to cost $30.25 million over the next decade.

University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County officials hope to fund the first phase of the plan — a $15.5 million environmentally sound dorm and conference hall — through private donations and grants. But Sauk County and the City of Baraboo would be asked to share in the remaining costs, which include upgrades to facilities over the next 11 years.

The UW Campus Commission members present at Friday's meeting voted unanimously to support the plan, though the commission's president expressed caution in the face of today's slumping economy.

"I think you've got the support of the county and the city," said Phil Wedekind, campus commission president and city alderman. "But when they start hearing about the money, the support kind of dwindles a little bit."

The university will have to tap into the expertise of local marketing and environmental professionals to raise funds for the first phase, the Living and Learning Center, said Nicole Thompson, director of university relations. Fundraising efforts for the 96-bed green dorm and conference center will be aimed at a "target audience," she said.

That facility is slated to include state-of-the-art sustainable construction methods and will seek a green certification from a nonprofit group. The goal is to have zero annual net energy operations.