Gov. Evers: Announces State Building Commission approves $178 million in projects across Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Tony Evers today announced the Wisconsin State Building Commission approved a total of approximately $178.3 million in key projects across the state, including the authority to purchase land in the city of Milwaukee for the development and construction of a new Type 1 Juvenile Correctional Facility to continue the administration’s efforts to close and replace the Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake facility.  

“Despite years of obstruction, today is a major milestone and accomplishment in my administration’s efforts to get our kids closer to home and to their support systems as quickly and as safely as possible,” said Gov. Evers. “Today’s purchase approval for a new Type 1 Juvenile Correctional Facility in Milwaukee has been years in the making, and I look forward to this project continuing to receive the necessary support to advance our efforts to finally get kids out of Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake once and for all.”

Highlights of the Commission’s approved projects include:

  • Authority to purchase land located at West Clinton Avenue in the city of Milwaukee in preparation for the development and construction of a new Type 1 Juvenile Correctional Facility as part of the plan laid out in 2017 Wisconsin Act 185 and amended in 2021 Wisconsin Act 252. The city of Milwaukee Common Council approved the location and zoning change in January 2023.
  • An exterior restoration of the Historic Boat House, the oldest light house in Wisconsin, at Rock Island State Park that will repair the building envelope, masonry, and windows.
  • Construction of the Engineering Drive Utilities Replacement and Renovation project at the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison to help facilitate future development in this area. 
  • Authorizing one HVAC System Replacement project for UW-Oshkosh as part of the Minor Facilities Renewal Program group enumerations.
  • Approval to install a 2.25-megawatt solar photovoltaic array at UW-Madison Kegonsa Research Center to promote studies in the co-location of agricultural activities and renewable energy (also known as “agri-voltaics”), providing research and educational opportunities for UW-Madison faculty and students.
  • Releasing a grant to support the construction of a Museum of Nature and Culture in Milwaukee that will include exhibit space, collections research and storage space, and visitor services focused on nature and culture, teaching science, and honoring the world’s different cultures.
  • The release of Stewardship grant funds to support over two dozen projects at various Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources parks throughout the state as part of the Friends Nonprofit Conservation Organization grants.
  • Authorizing 33 maintenance and repair projects for the departments of Administration, Corrections, Health Services, Military Affairs, Natural Resources, Transportation, Veterans Affairs, and the UW-System, located at various locations in 19 counties across the state.

The Building Commission is chaired by Gov. Evers and made up of the following members:   

  • State Sen. Robert Wirch;
  • State Sen. Joan Ballweg;
  • State Sen. André Jacque;
  • State Rep. Jill Billings;
  • State Rep. Rob Swearingen;
  • State Rep. Robert Wittke;  and 
  • Citizen member Summer Strand.

An online version of this release is available here.