South Campus Initiative

Project Announcement

Officials from Madison College and Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation and affiliates placed the construction of the college’s new South Campus in its entirety on the fast track by sharing details of a contribution to complete the second phase of the project, and issuing a challenge grant for the third and final phase.

The project will take place in three phases. The first phase includes purchase of the site currently occupied by the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds at the intersection of Badger Road and Park Street and will include spaces for learning and some student services. Phase Two will increase the usable space to up to 45,000 square feet and include community meeting spaces, additional classrooms and support services. Phase Three will expand the complex to a total approaching 75,000 square feet and include a comprehensive suite of student services, community access to social service and community-based organizations, and additional classrooms and community meeting spaces.

Richard D. George, president and CEO of Great Lakes, said his organization is committing $3 million to construct the second phase of the project and announced a $3.5 matching grant to complete the final phase. With this challenge grant, Great Lakes is looking to engage the community in completing the project. If Madison College successfully raises $3.5 million before March 31, 2018, Great Lakes will match that amount dollar for dollar and assure the campus will be completed in its entirety in 2019.

More information is available in the full news release

In August, the college announced $11.3 million in contributions from the Irwin A. and Robert D. Goodman Foundation and the American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation to cover costs associated with Phase One of the South Campus Initiative.


Madison College is committed to incorporating a diverse set of community perspectives into the Madison College South Campus Initiative planning and design process. 


  • Open a new South campus that meets the needs of the South Madison community.
  • Increase access of South Madison residents to Madison College.
  • Work with community leaders to better assess educational and training gaps.
  • Offer affordable programs and classes that fill those gaps.
Community Meetings

Community Engagement

Input from the community and diverse perspectives are an important part of the Madison College South Campus Initiative process. A series of outreach efforts helped us gather your input. 

Join us at one of two community sharing meetings where you’ll find out more about the selected site (corner of Badger Road and Park Street), plans for the new campus and to hear what your fellow community members had to say. Information from this report will be presented at the meetings. 

Both meetings will present the same information, and include time for questions and discussion.

Refer to the Madison College South Campus Initiative presentation for more information.

Monday, November 6 from 6 - 7:30 p.m.
Urban League of Greater Madison Community Room – Evjue A
2222 South Park Street, Villager Shopping Center
Madison, WI

Thursday, November 9 from 5 - 6:30 p.m.
Madison College West Campus – Room 126
8017 Excelsior Drive
Madison, WI 


With the help of Urban Assets, confidential interviews of South Madison community and business leaders assessed future programming, service and design needs for the campus. The interviews took place in the Spring and Summer 2017. 


Urban Assets will conduct four to six focus group meetings in Fall 2017 and Winter 2018 to understand the needs and barriers related to the new campus. 

Community Support

Support for the expanded South Campus from Madison-area community and business leaders is central to the initiative. 

Floyd Rose, 100 Black Men:

“The Madison neighborhoods deemed to have significant barriers to opportunity are also neighborhoods with high concentrations of poverty. Two of the most acute low-opportunity neighborhoods in our community are in south Madison and southwest Madison. Given that employment is the fundamental pathway from poverty, Madison College is, without equal, the most effective means of empowerment in south Madison and southwest Madison. For more than 100 years, Madison College has strove to provide transformational, affordable and accessible educational opportunity to all. Madison College is logically the greatest channel for sustainable economic and comprehensive social well-being in south Madison and southwest Madison.” 

Zach Brandon, President, Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce:

“The Madison College South Campus represents a critical investment and an important step toward driving equity, retaining talent in our region and building an advanced economy that works for everyone. Our economy is moving rapidly, and this opportunity will ensure success in the next wave of the economy. Greater Madison is positioned to be a laboratory for change, and this campus will be part of that laboratory.” 

Karen Menendez-Coller, Executive Director, Centro Hispano of Dane County:

“I am thrilled to hear about the direction of the new campus. So many of our Centro families already rely on the college to be their bridge for their higher education. With the expansion of the South Madison Campus, Madison College has now reaffirmed its commitment to higher education for communities of color. The new campus will become a strong anchor on the South side for the work of so many non-profits.

Learn more about what community and business leaders say about Madison College's South Campus Initiative.  

Advisory Council

About the Council

The Madison College South Campus Initiative Advisory Council is made up of business and community leaders, and residents of the Madison College South Service Area. Staff members from the City of Madison are also involved in the council. 

The advisory council will provide feedback and advice to the project management team throughout the community engagement and development process for the new South Campus. With the help of engagement consultant Urban Assets, Madison College will conduct targeted outreach to South Madison residents, community organizations, and civic and business leaders to identify the community values, vision, needs and opportunities that will shape the new South Campus. 


  • Develop an intimate understanding of the initiative.
  • Spread the word about the initiative and associated community engagement efforts.
  • Provide advice to the project management team regarding community engagement, programming and facility development. 


  • Review and asses data collected by Madison College regarding South Madison.
  • Understand state and local regulatory issues related to facility development and procurement.
  • Advise the college on additional outreach and data collection activities to inform planning.
  • Provide feedback to the college regarding design and programming proposals.
  • Provide input on appropriate engagement techniques within the South Madison project area and utilize existing community engagement forums.
  • Ensure that diverse interests are represented throughout the planning process and encourage involvement of stakeholders. 

The Advisory Council will meet each month March 2017 through June 2018. The council will not meet in December 2017. 

Meeting Minutes and Materials

South Madison Campus projected timeline

Map of location and campus renderings

Minutes from the Madison College South Campus Initiative Advisory Council meetings are available for the community.

Meeting Minutes
March 2, 2017
March 28, 2017
April 25, 2017
May 23, 2017
June 27, 2017

August 28, 2017: New South Campus location


History of the South Campus Initiative

In April and May 2016, the Madison College District Board approved the expansion of the South Campus facility, academic programs and services to meet the higher education needs of South Madison. 

Metro Campus Recommendations:
Metro Campus Recommendations, April 6, 2016
President Jack E. Daniels III Recommendation Remarks, April 6, 2016

Metro Campus Reports:
Executive Summary Metro Campus Report, March 2016 
Metro Campus Report, February 18, 2015

Madison College District Board meeting minutes relating to the South Campus:
April 6, 2016
April 20, 2016
May 4, 2016

With the help of South Madison leaders and community groups at three community forums, a plan was outlined to expand the South Campus. 

Questions about the Madison College South Campus Initiative Advisory Council can be directed to the South Campus at or (608) 243-4200.