Marklein, Kurtz Authored Bill to Redevelop Closed 2 Year Campus Buildings Head to Governor

MADISON – Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) and Rep. Tony Kurtz (R-Wonewoc) released the following statement after the passage of Senate Bill 518, which provides funding for economic redevelopment grants to counties with a closed University of Wisconsin (UW) System branch campus.

 “Over the course of the last two years, the UW-System has announced the closing of four 2-year campuses, starting with UW- Platteville Richland, which is in the process of being closed completely while the other three, Washington, Fond du Lac, and Marinette are closed to in-person instruction.

“We introduced this bill to provide $20 million for Campus Community Transition Grants. The grants will be awarded to a county that has a two-year branch campus closed to in-person instruction, with a maximum amount of $2 million per county. At UW-Platteville Richland all of the buildings are owned by the county. This is the case at most, if not all, of the two-year campuses across the state.

“These grants will help a county plan and redevelop underutilized campus buildings in the event of a campus closure. The money may be used for economic development, housing, and other redevelopment opportunities.

“This bill is going to be critically important to several counties who have invested millions in these 2 year campuses as the UW-System decides what to do with the remaining campuses. We look forward to Governor Evers signing this bill into law to ensure we can fill the gap left by these institutions leaving our communities.”