Madison, Wis. – DOA Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld today outlined plans for the State of Wisconsin to optimize its building footprint in Madison and Milwaukee, enhance access to government services, and save taxpayers money.
Blumenfeld released an update to the state’s Vision 2030 Plan that called for the State to evaluate and modernize the state workforce and workplaces. The update announced today would shrink the Madison building footprint by approximately 27.8 percent in the next few years through consolidating state-owned facilities and would create more “one-stop shopping” options for government services. The updated Vision 2030 plan would spare taxpayers from more than $541 million in deferred maintenance costs for aging as well as underused facilities in Madison and Milwaukee.
“Vision 2030 is a win-win for taxpayers and state workers,” Blumenfeld said. “It fosters a flexible, mobile work environment that will support our state workforce, optimizes our building and energy footprint, and improves access for the public while delivering taxpayer savings. We’re very proud to build on the successes of Vision 2030 to deliver a future-facing plan that will help us modernize where and how work gets done at the State level and provide more opportunities to develop and grow our Wisconsin workforce talent across the state.”
Released in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the initial Vision 2030 report offered solutions to multiple challenges confronting the State of Wisconsin, including an aging state-owned infrastructure, the impending retirement of many state workers, and a growing demand for digital government services. It acknowledged that the pandemic had accelerated workforce realignment trends and revealed a need for government to deliver services more efficiently. As such, Vision 2030 embraced the opportunity to make state government more agile, accessible, and responsive to its constituents.
Since Vision 2030 was first introduced in May 2021, the State has put several underused properties up for sale, consolidated offices, and increased the number of shared workspaces for State workers. The update released today highlights additional opportunities and follows a statewide study that identified options to optimize the state building portfolio.
Specifically, the latest Vision 2030 update proposes consolidating Madison-based agencies and offices to vacate the State Human Services Building at 1 W. Wilson St., the General Executive Facility (GEF) 2 building at 101 S. Webster St., and the GEF 3 building at 125 S. Webster St., and offer those properties for public sale.
These moves, phased in over several years, would relieve the State of approximately $446.1 million in deferred maintenance costs that otherwise would be needed for the State Human Services Building, GEF 2, and GEF 3 facilities. If fully implemented, the moves would reduce the State’s overall office square footage in Madison by a little more than 813,000 square feet, or 27.8%.
In Milwaukee, Vision 2030 proposes that the existing Milwaukee State Office Building is vacated and put up for sale. Specified Milwaukee offices would relocate to either a planned Milwaukee State Office Building on land the State purchased at 27th Street and Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee, or to locations more convenient to the people they serve. The new Milwaukee State Office Building will be built through a public/private partnership with a request for proposals anticipated to be issued in late 2023/early 2024. This move would eliminate the need for approximately $95.7 million in renovations for the existing building.
The proposed changes would be implemented in phases, with the larger projects taking upwards of 4 to 5 years to complete.
The report comes out on the heels of the Governor’s proposed 2023-25 Capital Budget. Additional information is available here.