15:26 PM

Madison College breaks ground for Goodman South Campus

College president says impact of project will be ‘seismic’


American Family Dreams Foundation gift of $1.3 million helps make project a reality, one of five major benefactors. American Family Insurance President Bill Westrate represents foundation in groundbreaking ceremony.

Bill Westrate, American Family Insurance president
"Our participation in this project demonstrates our belief in its importance and the transformational benefits it can bring to future students, South Madison and the entire community."
Bill Westrate, American Family Insurance president

(News release source: Madison College)
Officials from Madison College and more than 150 business and community leaders, civil rights advocates and others came together today to celebrate the groundbreaking of the college’s new south campus in Madison. The facility will be known as the Goodman South Campus to honor Irwin A. and Robert D. Goodman, namesakes of the foundation that contributed a lead gift of $10 million to construct the campus in what is widely considered to be the most impoverished area of Madison.

The campus will be constructed at the intersection of Badger Road and Park Street, the site of the former Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds, and is slated to be open when fall classes begin in 2019. It will house classrooms and hands-on learning labs, wrap-around student services and instructional programs in STEM- and IT-related fields, including an early college STEM academy for high school juniors and seniors in the Madison Metropolitan School District. In addition, there will be gathering spaces for community members, regardless of whether they are students at the college.

“Building a new campus in south Madison isn’t about Madison College. It’s about serving a population that has been historically underrepresented and marginalized,” said Dr. Jack E. Daniels III, president of Madison College. “It’s about answering the call to break the multigenerational cycle of poverty for south side residents and opening the door to a future of possibilities that have escaped the reality of those who live here.”

Construction of the campus, estimated at $23 million, is being funded with private contributions (including the American Family Dreams Foundation gift of $1.3 million). At 75,000 square feet, the Goodman South Campus will be more than six times the size of the college’s current Village on Park location. Operational costs will be covered by the college’s base budget.

Daniels said the Goodman South Campus will provide access to higher education for individuals who are capable of attending college but haven’t been able to do so without a college campus nearby or a full suite of support services available at one location. Unlike the current location, the new South Campus will be easily accessible via all modes of transportation, including the Madison Metro Transit System. Individuals will also be able to complete an associate degree there. Students currently must finish their coursework at Madison College’s Truax campus to earn a certificate, degree or diploma.

“Post-secondary education leads to sustained employment,” Daniels said. “Sustained employment leads to empowerment and self-advocacy. And sustainable employment produces family-supporting wages, which is the shortest pathway out of poverty.”

Though academic programming will be the foundation of the Goodman South Campus, the framework of the project is its benefit to the community at large. Daniels says the facility will also serve as a community gathering place, “a safe place to call their own in which people can engage with each other, have meaningful conversations, access vital community services and celebrate their successes. But its impact will be seismic, transcending the geographic and physical boundaries that demarcate Madison’s south side.”

Daniels said the individuals who will be educated here will receive training for high-skill jobs that are in demand in Madison, throughout Dane County, in the district and all across Wisconsin.

“Everybody benefits from a strong workforce,” he said.

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About American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation
The American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation, Inc. builds on our long-standing commitment and support of our communities. As our mission has evolved from corporate giving to community investing, we’ve turned our focus to creating strong partnerships with nonprofit organizations that have helped us strengthen both families and communities.