RECENT ARTICLES
  • Think Big: Maximizing the Brain Power Behind Your Project

    by Alex Peirce April 2016

    Throughout our project, it has been a priority to engage Wisconsin students in conversations about our new facilities. We have used a variety of strategies, including open forums and electronic surveys, to solicit feedback from students before, during, and after the referendum passed. These tactics have largely been to gather general information in large-group or digital formats, but we also wanted to create an opportunity to have more targeted conversations about specific topics.

  • Blog: Attracting Donors for Campus Rec Projects

    by Alex Peirce February 2016

    Editors' note: In March 2014, students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison approved a $223 million referendum to overhaul the campus recreation facilities, badly in need of improvement. Since then, the recreation program has been busy planning, fundraising, vetting architects and much more. As the project progresses, Alex Peirce, UW-Madison Rec Sports Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications, will be offering an inside look at the process of coordinating such a monumental planning effort.

    Once our project received all of the necessary approvals for it to move forward, our attention shifted to working with the architects, engaging students in the design process, and securing gift funding for the new facilities. Approximately 25% of the cost for our entire Master Plan (two indoor facilities and two outdoor playfields) will be funded by gifts and donations. We work closely with the University of Wisconsin Foundation to identify and connect with interested donors, a process that has greatly increased my understanding of how to navigate and prepare for those impactful (and very important) relationships.

  • Blog: An In-Depth Look at Vetting Architects

    by Alex Peirce February 2016

    Editors' note: In March 2014, students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison approved a $223 million referendum to overhaul the campus recreation facilities, badly in need of improvement. Since then, the recreation program has been busy planning, fundraising, vetting architects and much more. As the project progresses, Alex Peirce, UW-Madison Rec Sports Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications, will be offering an inside look at the process of coordinating such a monumental planning effort.

    Approximately 18 months after the selection process began, in September 2015, it was announced that HOK and Workshop were the firms selected for our project. A lot happened in that 18 months, and I’ve done my best to summarize the process here:

  • Blog: Selecting an Architect for Your Campus Rec Project

    by Alex Peirce January 2016

    Editors' note: In March 2014, students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison approved a $223 million referendum to overhaul the campus recreation facilities, badly in need of improvement. Since then, the recreation program has been busy planning, fundraising, vetting architects and much more. As the project progresses, Alex Peirce, UW-Madison Rec Sports Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications, will be offering an inside look at the process of coordinating such a monumental planning effort.

    As someone completely new to facility construction, I have learned quite a bit about the process of selecting an architectural firm for Wisconsin state projects. For example, the actual selection committee is composed of seven members, one representative from campus, one from the UW System, and five designees from the Division of Facilities Development (DFD). Similarly, the process can vary from state to state or even from private to public organizations. As I was researching and preparing information for this article, I found information that may be helpful for both clients and architects. I hope the information I share in this post can better prepare you for your next project.

  • Blog: Tackling Improvements to Outdoor Athletic Fields

    by Alex Peirce November 2015

    Editors' note: In March 2014, students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison approved a $223 million referendum to overhaul the campus recreation facilities, badly in need of improvement. Since then, the recreation program has been busy planning, fundraising, vetting architects and much more. As the project progresses, Alex Peirce, UW-Madison Rec Sports Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications, will be offering an inside look at the process of coordinating such a monumental planning effort.

    Our Master Plan kicks off with improvements to our Near West Fields, an outdoor facility that hosts many of our Intramural Sports activities and Sport Clubs events. Scheduled for completion next fall, the Near West Fields project is currently still in the design phase. Today’s post focuses on our progress on this project and the insights and lessons we’ve learned along the way. Our Associate Directors shared their insights on researching and analyzing products, selecting an architect, and designing for a variety of programs.

  • Blog: Engaging Stakeholders Early Step to Rec Success

    by Alex Peirce November 2015

    Editors' note: In March 2014, students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison approved a $223 million referendum to overhaul the campus recreation facilities, badly in need of improvement. Since then, the recreation program has been busy planning, fundraising, vetting architects and much more. As the project progresses, Alex Peirce, UW-Madison Rec Sports Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications, will be offering an inside look at the process of coordinating such a monumental planning effort.

    One of the most exciting aspects of campaigning for and designing new facilities is the amount of people impacted by bigger spaces, new programs, and more opportunities. This is also one of the most challenging aspects. When you have a wide variety of stakeholders, each group has vested interests, specific concerns, and a unique vision for the final project. Here are a few suggestions on how you can identify and engage different audiences throughout the preliminary stages of your project, whether that’s in your campaign or design phase.

  • Blog: Generating Rec Support Through Low-Cost Marketing

    by Alex Peirce October 2015

    Editors' note: In March 2014, students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison approved a $223 million referendum to overhaul the campus recreation facilities, badly in need of improvement. Since then, the recreation program has been busy planning, fundraising, vetting architects and much more. As the project progresses, Alex Peirce, UW-Madison Rec Sports Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications, will be offering an inside look at the process of coordinating such a monumental planning effort.

  • Blog: A Voice for Rec Renovations at the U. of Wisconsin

    by Alex Peirce September 2015

    Editors' note: In March 2014, students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison approved a $223 million referendum to overhaul the campus recreation facilities, badly in need of improvement. Since then, the recreation program has been busy planning, fundraising, vetting architects and much more. As the project progresses, Alex Peirce, UW-Madison Rec Sports Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications, will be offering an inside look at the process of coordinating such a monumental planning effort.

    Rec Sports Master Plan: for the students, by the students

    As you set foot on any college campus, the faculty will tell you that their students are totally unlike those at any other school. Each school offers a unique culture that attracts unique students who have a unique way of doing things. I have found this to be true, as the University of Wisconsin-Madison is now the third campus where I have worked with such a special group of students.