CDR/Babcock Hall building project moving into construction phase

Shortly after the state Building Commission approved the CDR/Babcock Hall building project’s funding plan, some project leaders marked the occasion with a photo with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. It includes (left to right) David Darling, UW-Madison Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning & Management; Governor Walker; Dick Straub, CALS Senior Associate Dean; and John Umhoefer, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association.

The CDR/Babcock Hall building project reached a major milestone last week. On April 11, the project’s funding plan was approved by the state Building Commission. The previous week, it had been approved by the UW Board of Regents. With these final approvals, the project has started to move into the construction phase.

“This is a major milestone for this important project,” says Dean Kate VandenBosch. “The college is deeply grateful for everyone’s efforts on behalf of this project, including support from our industry investors, UW-Madison, UW system and the state.”

Immediate next steps include:

  • Construction contracts will be completed and signed by the end of May.
  • After that, the state Division of Facilities Development (DFD) will issue a Notice to Proceed to C.D. Smith Construction, the general prime contractor selected to lead the work. At that point, C.D. Smith can occupy the site.
  • The site fence is expected to go up in early June and the work to begin by mid- to late-June.

The project will move forward in phases. First steps involve constructing a new loading dock and milk receiving bay, as well as demolishing Science House. Next, construction will focus on the CDR addition. After that, the Babcock Hall Dairy Plant renovation will begin, likely in early 2020. The project is anticipated to be completed later in 2020.

A celebration event is being planned for this summer or fall.

One logistical note: Process piping and equipment drawings and specifications for the project are still being finalized. They are due in mid-May. This work will not go out for full bid. General contractor C.D. Smith will need to obtain quotes from three vendors. If the lowest quote exceeds the $8M allowance designated for this work, DFD will negotiate the final amount and determine if it requires additional approval from the Board of Regents and State Building Commission.