State of Wisconsin and University of Wisconsin ~ Park Street Development

Madison, Wisconsin

Project Description

The Boldt Company served as owner, developer and construction manager for the Park Street Redevelopment project on the University of Wisconsin campus. The project consisted of three parts, representing one of the five major components of the University’s East Campus Development Plan and serves as the new gateway to the university. The three components of the project included: a residence hall, an administration building/parking ramp and pedestrian mall.

To accommodate the fast-track schedule, Boldt provided the following services:

  • Acquisition of two privately owned brownfield parcels totaling 1.5 acres immediately adjacent to the university campus

  • Monitoring the tight schedule

  • Design, engineering and installation of utility extensions to the site

  • Management of architectural and engineering services

  • Site investigations, environmental remediation and demolition of three buildings

  • Design and construction of a replacement service garage and fleet services to permit demolition of existing building

  • Management of city architectural and engineering reviews

  • Value engineering

Our development group provided a wide variety of services including land acquisition, securing local and state approvals, financing the project, along with overseeing the planning, design and construction of the project. 

Administration Building & Parking Ramp
The seven-story administrative building is 290,000 sq. ft. and 342-space parking ramp contain four stories of parking and three stories of general office space. Also included in this portion of the project was the University’s Welcome Center which faces Park Street. The general office space is occupied by various administrative services such as the bursar’s office, admissions and human resources.

The parking structure includes 43-metered public parking spaces on the first floor, with the remaining 299 spaces on the second through fourth floors available for permit parking. A total of 60 bicycle parking spaces are provided in two locations, one on the exterior of the building and one on the first floor of the parking structure.

Newell J. Smith Residence Hall
The six-story, 425-bed residence hall that is 167,000 gross sq. ft. in size features:

  • Fifty-five single resident rooms, five single house fellow rooms and 36 double rooms

  • Student rooms are grouped in clusters, with groups of four or five students sharing a bathroom

  • Academic support space

  • Computer support centers

  • Social and program space on each floor

  • Deli-style café

  • Kitchen on every floor

  • Music room

  • General auditorium space on the first floor

Project Challenges
From a location perspective the site was an excellent choice; however, it did have its challenges. All projects were constructed within limited confines and amid fully operational facilities. Campus traffic re-routing and special procedures for decreasing noise and interruption were necessary.

Several problems occurred with the site soils. The residence hall is located over a former salvage yard and gas station with petroleum contamination, which required special identification and handling during removal. Soils from two to seven feet contained organic materials that required removal due to low bearing capacity. As a result, many of the footings had to be dropped to a lower elevation in order to obtain suitable soil bearing capacity. This required daily coordination between contractors, engineers and testing agencies.

In the original design, the residence hall had a basement for mechanical equipment and storage. Due to the high water table elevation on site, such a basement would require a costly ballasted and "bathtub" style foundation. To avoid the cost impact and avoid damage to surrounding buildings (due to dewatering around the foundation) the building was redesigned with a penthouse for all the mechanical equipment.

The office/ramp site was the pathway through the area for Madison Gas & Electric's power feeds to portions of the city, and the City of Madison had a six feet high by twelve feet wide storm sewer box running through the site. Both utilities had to be redesigned and moved from the building site of the office/ramp foundations prior to groundbreaking.

Learn more about our design/build capabilities or our development capabilities.

Boldt's Role

Owner, Design/Builder, Construction Manager

Key Points

  • According to Alan Fish, UW’s Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities, Planning and Management, it typically takes six years to develop and refine a project concept and secure project approval, plus an additional two years for construction. Given that the Park Street project was given completion date requirements in order to make room for a number of donor-financed projects, the university looked to Boldt for a solution to their schedule dilemma. Boldt responded by investing more than eight million dollars in cash equity to fund the project’s design and approval process prior to the execution of the lease and the subsequent financing. The project was finished that summer, approximately two and one-half years after the revised project concept was first discussed.
  • The University, through the State’s Department of Administration, entered into a 30-year master lease of the entire project from Boldt. The lease provided for fixed price purchase options that were available immediately upon construction completion and every two years thereafter. The options can be used to purchase the entire project or individual portions of the project (such as the residence hall, administration building or parking ramp). Upon the project’s completion, the University exercised its purchase options for the residence hall and parking ramp. Boldt continues to own the administration building.