Campus Facilities

Concrete Slab Falls from UW-Madison Campus Building

A large concrete slab, part of the façade of Van Hise Hall on the campus of UW-Madison in Madison, Wis., fell three stories and crashed near the building’s entrance on Sunday. No injuries were reported. Campus officials are working to discover the cause of the collapse.

“We’re grateful no one was hurt and are working diligently to understand what caused this to occur and what action may be needed to keep everyone safe,” said Lori Getter, public safety communications specialist. “We will provide more information as it becomes available.”

Getter elaborated that there was no construction work in progress that would have triggered the collapse. Van Hise is home to multiple academic departments and offices in the University of Wisconsin System.

Van Hise Hall was built in 1965. Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers recommended earlier this year that part of his $1 billion Capital Budget be used to demolish and consolidate campus buildings—including Van Hise. The project is tentatively slated to begin in Sept. 2025.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that many state university buildings built in the 1960s and 1970s are starting to age and have demonstrated “similar exterior issues.” A 2005 master plan for UW-Madison recommended the building’s demolition sometime in the next 20 years, but the 2015 master plan pushed that demolition to at least 2035.

“Van Hise Hall has exterior envelopes not unlike other buildings throughout UW System that are aging and in disrepair,” the UW System said in a Tweet on Monday. “It’s why over 83% of our capital budget is for renovation and replacement. Van Hise Hall is not even on our short list, but Albertson Hall and Cofrin Library face similar exterior issues and improving them is critical.”

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].