Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the Computer, Data & Information Sciences (CDIS) Building
The University of Wisconsin – Madison (UW-Madison) Division of Facilities Planning & Management (FP&M) has retained Ayres Associates on behalf of the University of Wisconsin System Administration (UWSA) to prepare an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the proposed new Computer Data & Information Sciences (CDIS) building at UW-Madison located on the 1200 block on University Ave. in Madison, Wisconsin.
The EIA will be prepared in accordance with the Wisconsin Environmental Policy Act (WEPA), Wisconsin Statutes 1.11, and UWSA guidelines (Board of Regents' Resolution 2508, November 6, 1981). An initial requirement of the EIA is the scoping process. The intent of the scoping process is to identify at an early stage potential beneficial or adverse impacts of the project on the physical, biological, social, and economic environments. Because you or your agency or group may have an interest in the project, we are inviting you to participate in the scoping process.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison's School for Computer Data & Information Sciences (CDIS) offers a dynamic environment for study, research, and professional growth. It is one of the oldest and most respected computer science departments in the United States; beginning in the early 1960s as the Department of Numerical Analysis, it became the Department of Computer Sciences in 1964. Computer Sciences offers bachelors, masters, and PH.D. programs, including multiple certificate programs.
Computer Sciences, Statistics, and the iSchool departments, which comprise the newly created School for Computer, Data & Information Sciences (CDIS), along with the American Family Insurance Data Science Institute (referred to as the "Four Units"), are currently located in various locations on campus (see details below). This project consolidates the Four Units into one new facility and allows for backfill and redistribution of their former spaces for either renovation and reuse for other programs or removal from the university's building portfolio.
New major construction with potentially significant environmental effects is classified as a Type II action, requiring an EIA to determine if a full EIS is required. Accordingly, the following information describes the project proposal and outlines the necessary steps in preparing an EIA for the proposed CDIS project.
Proposed Project Action
This project proposes to remove the 38,356 gross square feet (GSF) / 23,132 assignable square feet (ASF) Service Building Annex (aka. Central Heating Station, Old Heating Plant) at 1225 University Avenue completed in 1909 and the 51,066 GSF / 45,184 ASF Service Building at 1217 University Avenue, completed in 1910. The removal of these facilities allows for the development of the new CDIS facility to be located in the 1200 block University Avenue in Madison, Wisconsin, west of N. Charter Street to N. Orchard Street and south to W. Johnson Street. FP&M is working closely with the Wisconsin Historical Society to mitigate the loss of historic resources.
The proposed project would build a new, approximately 318,000 GSF consolidated facility to house the Four Units. The University of Wisconsin, both UW-Madison and UWSA, (UW) has divided this project into two design and planning phases. Phase I of this planning project provides an advanced plan for an approximate 318,000 GSF building was completed in September 2021. Phase II of this project full AE Design services through construction administration, and closeout is currently underway.
The site identified for the new structure is located at the 1200 block of University Ave (current location of Service Building and Service Building Annex). Phase I examined the removal of these two structures, which is included in the current budget and schedule.
The project budget estimated at $225 million, funded entirely through gifts and grants.
Below is a summary of the targeted project schedule:
A project location map and aerial photo of the project site are provided as Attachments 1 and 2, respectively.
The EIA report will evaluate the potential positive and adverse environmental impacts of the project in accordance with the WEPA and UWSA guidelines. Issues identified during the scoping process will be addressed in the Draft EIA report. As part of our standard EIA process, Ayres Associates will perform research using available databases and resources to collect information pertaining to the project's environmental, social, economic, cultural, or historical aspects. The Draft EIA report will be made available to the public for a 15-day comment period anticipated to start in November 2021. A notice will be published in state and local media to announce the availability of the Draft EIA. Following completion of the public comment period, a public information meeting will be conducted, and any comments received will be evaluated.
Appropriate revisions will be incorporated into a Final EIA document based on comments received during the 15-day comment period and public information meeting. If there are unresolved conflicts and impacts after the public information meeting is held, FP&M and UW System may decide to extend the project review process into a full Environmental Impact Statement, update the EIA to an EIS, and hold an additional public meeting to resolve those identified issues.
If you are interested in this project, we welcome any comments, suggestions, or other input you feel are important. Please submit your comments related to this project in writing by October 21, 2021, for consideration in the Draft EIA report.
Further opportunity for comment is included through the DEIA process. Send your comments to:
Ben Peotter, PE