Madison College’s Student-Centered
Remodeling
Open for Service
By Jonathan Gramling

For the good part of the past decade, Madison College has been
preparing for its future, an increasingly competitive environment
where technical-oriented higher education institutions — public
and private — are preparing future employees for an increasingly
technological-oriented labor market. Without technical and STEM
skills, workers will be hard-pressed to find a job with a living
wage.

Madison College started transforming itself when the college
under the leadership of Dr. Bettsey Barhorst initiated a $133.7
million referendum to initiate a number of building projects at the
Truax campus and elsewhere in the 12-county district.

“This campus had grown in what we offer and where we offer it,”
said Dr. Jack Daniels III, the current president of Madison College.
“If we go back to 2009 with the referendum, we’ve basically built
three new buildings. We’ve got the Human and Protective
Services building, our Gateway and our Ingenuity Center and
Health Education.”

And then through some remaining referendum money, an $11
million capital campaign and other available funds, the college
reconfigured and remodeled part of its original Truax building to
make it more service — and student — oriented. . While the
Gateway, in many ways, is the public entrance to Madison College
with its accessibility to the Mitby Theater and Redsten Gym,
However, the newly remodeled entrance on Anderson Street is, in
many ways, a gateway to student life at Madison College.

“This portion that we are opening up is our culinary, baking, food
court, student services, career center, International student
Clockwise from upper left: Student organizations are housed on one of
the “streets” leading to the food court; The bookstore offers a wide
range of studentsupplies and clothing; The UW Credit Union sits on the
edge of the food court; Dr. Jack Daniels III; Two cashiers at the food
court; The state of the art cosmetology school, which fuses classroom
and salon together; Service like career and employment counseling
border the food court; Students man a booth about domestic violence and
rape in the broad multi-purpose space that is at the heart of the
food court and surrounding facilities.
center, and student activity center,” Daniels said. “All of that is now in a very central location. And the way that it was designed, there are a
couple of streets and they all meet in the middle where the food services are. We wanted an environment in which students not just socialize
but can also do some of their work. I’ve seen the number of folks who use it have increased. Faculty has meetings one-on-one. The meeting
room where our board meets is also a part of a new section.”

Entering the building from the new entrance, one enters a large multi-purpose room that could hold up to 1,200 people, depending on the
event. Tables and study areas are placed strategically throughout the space. And the space itself is lined with different student services.

“Our culinary and baking programs are able to sell their goods themselves to the public,” Daniels said. “We have a relationship with
Starbucks, so we have that as a part of our food court as well. We moved cosmetology from downtown. They have a brand new area and
service area. We have UW Credit Union. They’ve been moved to a new area, which is very accessible to students and staff. It’s awesome
when you think about the different types of services available. It gives us a great opportunity to engage ourselves with our communities. It’s
been a great thing to see evolve.”

The facility has become more attractive and accommodating to students and staff. Students are increasingly staying to study instead of
heading for home after they have completed their classes.

“We saw some of that happen when we built the Gateway, another area where you have the student services, the library, the tutoring center
and other student services,” Daniels observed.

And more changes are in the works. Madison College has a new west side campus and the creation of a full-service South Madison campus
is in the works. Like many companies, Madison College has retooled to meet needs of the 21st century technological economy.