The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee announced this week it is moving forward with plans for a Klotsche Center addition after receiving approval from the state Legislature in the 2019-21 capital budget.
The state budget included $7 million for the annex to the recreation facility at 3409 N. Downer Ave., which would create a dedicated basketball practice facility. UWM did not disclose the full cost of the project in its announcement.
The 15,000-square-foot addition, which will be built east of the UWM Pavilion, will be used as a practice facility for both the men’s and women’s NCAA Division 1 basketball programs.
The project is aimed at relieving overcrowding during high-use times, when athletics and campus recreation coincide. Use of the Klotsche Center has increased more than 100 percent in the past decade, and intramural participation has grown by 97 percent, UWM said.
"We are very happy to be able to move forward with this project," said Steven Mohar, director of university recreation. "This ability to meet the need of students for expanded athletic and recreational facilities has been something that we have been working on for some time. This facility will benefit the shared space that campus athletics, recreational sport clubs, and intramurals have all been using and open up more programming space for University Recreation in both the Klotsche Center and Pavilion."
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.
The Klotsche Center addition will be funded with private donations and student segregated fees, which are already being collected.
"We are grateful to be in a position where this facility is becoming a reality and helping us substantially improve the student-athlete experience," said Amanda Braun, UWM director of athletics. "This has been in the planning stages for some time and we are excited to see it move forward. It will have such a positive impact on both the student-athletes and the entire UWM community."
UWM's next step will be selecting an architect, which will then begin the design process.