Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin donated $2.1 million to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to support the school’s Klotsche Center expansion project.
The funding will help fund the construction of a new 15,000-square-foot building that will be connected to the existing Klotsche Center & Pavilion at 3409 N. Downer Ave. The addition will create a dedicated basketball practice facility for the school’s men’s and women’s NCAA Division 1 basketball programs.
The Klotsche Center & Pavilion, which houses the university’s fitness center, pool and a 3,500-seat arena, has experienced overcrowding in recent years during high-use times, when athletics and campus recreation coincide. The new building, which will be named the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin Center or OHOW Center, is aimed at relieving that congestion.
“I am tremendously grateful to the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin for this generous gift,” said Mark Mone, chancellor of UWM. “The OHOW Center will relieve space constraints in the Klotsche Center and ultimately provide a better experience for our student-athletes and all of our students, faculty and staff who use our recreational spaces. We have been looking forward to this expansion for several years, and this gift from OHOW will have a significant impact and improve the wellness of those who visit the center.”
The center will be located on the east side of the Pavilion and will be connected by a skywalk over the existing driveway.
The 125,000-square-foot Klotsche Center was built in 1975 and the 134,700-square-foot Pavilion was added in 2003. The indoor rec facility is the practice and competition venue for the women’s basketball and volleyball programs.
“Seeing this project become a reality is very exciting,” said Amanda Braun, UWM director of athletics. “Being able to offer our basketball programs a dedicated practice facility gives us the opportunity to continue to be leaders in the Horizon League and allows us to enhance our recruiting efforts for our highest profile sport programs. The continued growth in the use of the Klotsche Center by all students has created the need for this facility.”
The project is expected to cost $8 million. The OHOW gift will be used for planning, construction, furnishing, staffing and operations of the new building.
“Supporting student-athletes and helping them succeed is what we do,” said Brian Cramer, chief executive officer of OHOW, which is UWM’s provider of orthopedic care, physical therapy and health care coverage for student-athletes. “We believe in being involved in our community, and our relationship with UWM is a prime example of that commitment. We are proud to have our name associated with UWM, and we want the OHOW Center to enhance the UWM campus and the experience of all who use it.”