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Walker Proposes Spending $1.1 Billion On Buildings

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(Credit: Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

(Credit: Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Gov. Scott Walker is proposing spending $1.1 billion on building projects in Wisconsin over the next two years, nearly 30 percent less than what was spent in the current two-year budget.

Walker said in a statement that his proposal released Monday “aggressively uses the funds available to us to maintain state buildings, plan for growth, and most importantly create jobs.”

Projects included for funding include $76 million for the new Badger Performance Center on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus to house a variety of programs, $44 million for an education building at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and $5 million for creation of a new joint museum for the state Historical Society and Department of Veterans Affairs in Madison.

The Badger Performance Center includes a new 132,000-square foot facility to house sports medicine, academic services and strength and conditioning while sharing space with the College of Engineering.

It includes remodeling space in the McClain Center, construction of a new tunnel connecting the center to Camp Randall as well as renovations at improvements at the stadium.

Of the $1.1 billion requested, about 67 percent is for new construction or major renovation with the rest spent on maintenance and upkeep, said Peter Maternowski, deputy administrator for the state’s Division of State Facilities.

All but about $200 million of the $1.1 billion for the building projects comes from bonds, with the rest coming from cash, grants and federal money, Maternowski said.

Other major projects include $38.5 million for expansion of the west campus and $67 million for the Institute for Medical Research both at UW-Madison, $8 million to help pay for expansion of the Marquette Dental School and $17 million to renovate Carlson Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

The Building Commission, controlled by Republican state lawmakers and chaired by Walker, will meet on Wednesday to approve the recommendation and forward it to the Legislature’s budget-writing committee.

That panel will consider it as part of the state’s two-year budget which will likely be voted on by the Legislature in June.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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