Letters & Science New Academic Building
DFD Project #20K1G
University of Wisconsin – Madison

An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) scoping meeting to present the proposed UW-Madison College of Letters & Science New Academic Building project will be held virtually on April 20, 2022 at https://meet.goto.com/832934901. A description of the project will be presented, and all persons will be afforded a reasonable opportunity to identify both orally and in writing any support, issues, or concerns they believe should be addressed during the EIS process for this proposed project. The EIS will be prepared in accordance with the Wisconsin Environmental Policy Act (WEPA), Wisconsin Statutes 1.11, and University of Wisconsin System Administration (UWSA) guidelines. The project manager is the state Department of Administration’s Division of Facilities Development (DFD). Ayres Associates has been retained to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on behalf of the UW.

Project Background

The proposed project creates a new 115,881-gross square foot unified home for the Department of History and nine other ethnic studies departments, programs, and centers within the College of Letters and Science (L&S) by consolidating and co-locating spaces currently spread across eight facilities, including 432 East Campus Mall, Bradley Memorial Building, Helen C. White Hall, Ingraham Hall, Meiklejohn House, Mosse Humanities Building, Sterling Hall, and Van Hise Hall. The proposed new facility will provide an identity and sense of community, as well as a hub for engagement, collaboration, and learning for various ethnic studies academic programs and will provide a variety of spaces where students can pursue knowledge independently as well as within a larger learning community. This project continues the campus planning trend to realign the physical location of L&S departments into cohesive academic districts that are meant to foster collaboration between compatible departments.

Proposed Project Action

The proposed five-story academic building will include 26,000 SF of classrooms, along with offices and support areas for each department. The new facility will include a fire suppression system, structural fire compartmentalization, air supply, and exhaust systems with adequate capacity and controls to provide the required air exchanges and 16-foot floor-to-floor clearance to accommodate the modern building infrastructure and facilitate future maintenance and renovation activities. The exterior envelope, building entrances, and mechanical system equipment and controls will be designed for optimal energy efficiency and sustainability. A new parking structure is planned to be located immediately south of this site to accommodate any lost parking capacity and address campus parking deficits.

Two residence halls (Susan B. Davis Hall and Zoe Bayliss Co-Op) currently located on this site will be demolished along with a house and garage located at 935 W. Johnson Street. The lost residential room capacity has been resolved within other UW Housing facilities. The existing UW-owned residential dwellings located at 911 Clymer Place and 209 Bernard Court adjacent to the site are also proposed for demolition and would be used to stage construction equipment and materials for the proposed project.

The UW System enumerated project budget is $88,411,000 funded using $60,363,000 from General Fund Supported Borrowing and $23,078,000 from gift-grant funding

EIA Schedule

An initial requirement of the EIS is the scoping process, with the intent of identifying at an early stage any potential impacts of the project on the physical, biological, social, historic, and economic environments. Impacts that are identified during this process will be incorporated into a Draft EIS which will be made available to the public for a 45-day review period and circulated to appropriate federal, state, local agencies and interested parties. The Scoping Letter is being made available to the public and to appropriate federal, State, and local agencies for a 15-day review period, which begins April 6, 2022. Copies of the document will be available for review at the UW-Madison’s Helen C. White Library and Madison Public (Central Branch) Library, or on the following project website:


If you are interested in this project or have any information relevant to it, we welcome your comments, suggestions, or other input. For consideration in the Draft EIS, please submit your comments at the meeting or in writing by April 20, 2022. Comments in writing can be sent to:

Mitchell Banach, PG
Ayres Associates
3433 Oakwood Hills Parkway
Eau Claire, WI 54701

Click Here to View:
Scoping Letter (8,184 Kb, PDF)