MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers announced today that the Wisconsin State Building Commission approved a total of approximately $28.3 million in key projects across the state. 

“The projects approved by the Commission today are more than brick-and-mortar developments,” said Gov. Evers. “They are improvements to our state’s delivery of essential services, investments in renovations to serve the community, and advancements of Wisconsin’s social, cultural, and educational growth, which will only support our state’s continued success for years to come.

Included in the list of projects approved by the Commission today is the release of funding for the project development and design of a new Type 1 Juvenile Correctional Facility in Milwaukee County to continue progress towards repurposing Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake in accordance with 2017 Wisconsin Act 185. 

“I am glad after years of delays and obstruction by the Legislature, the Commission today released funding for the development and design of a new Type 1 Juvenile Correctional Facility in Milwaukee County so we can move forward on our goal to get our kids out of Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake and get them closer to home safely and responsibly,” Gov. Evers concluded.

Gov. Evers has long advocated for setting aside funding to create a new juvenile facility in Milwaukee County, having proposed measures to do so in both his 2019-21 and 2021-23 state capital budget proposals, respectively. The Legislature is currently moving forward with standalone legislation nearly identical to the governor’s 2021-23 capital budget proposal that was previously rejected by the Legislature through the biennial budget process. The proposal includes less funding than was initially proposed by Gov. Evers in his biennial budget.

Additional highlights of projects approved today include:

  • Approving State Stewardship funding for Friends Grants to 18 non-profit organizations for a series of improvements at parks across the state. This year’s awards leverage $477,000 in matching funds to complete these projects;
  • Rehabilitating and constructing three communication towers aimed at eliminating gaps in the radio network utilized by the State Patrol. The towers will provide service in the La Crosse area along with Pierce and Marathon Counties;
  • Releasing Building Trust Funds-planning to begin the next phase of planning and design for the Immersive Welcome Experience project at Old World Wisconsin;
  • Authorizing nine maintenance and repair projects for the Wisconsin Departments of Corrections, Health Services (DHS), Military Affairs, Natural Resources (DNR), Transportation, and the University of Wisconsin System, located at various locations in five counties across the state;
  • Authorizing a new lease for the DHS-Milwaukee Enrollment Services that will decrease annual rent payments, maintain existing service levels; and better serve the community by relocating to a location that is more geographically aligned to the DHS customer base; and
  • Authorizing the sale of the former DNR Southeast Regional Headquarters and Service Center to the Bronzeville Center for the Arts to redevelop the site for a new facility offering cultural exhibitions along with education and immersive artistic programming.

The Building Commission is chaired by Gov. Evers and made up of the following members:

  • State Senator Janis Ringhand;
  • State Senator Jerry Petrowski;
  • State Senator André Jacque;
  • State Representative Jill Billings;
  • State Representative Rob Swearingen;
  • State Representative Robert Wittke; and
  • Citizen member Summer Strand.
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