Skip to main content

University of Wisconsin-Madison – Memorial Union Renovation

University of Wisconsin-Madison Memorial Union Building Exterior

Centered at the heart of the UW-Madison campus since 1928, the Memorial Union serves as a social and educational gathering place for students and community members alike. The west wing renovation project made use of select demolition, additions and restorations to grow programming, improve accessibility, update life safety and increase energy efficiency. The project also reconstructed the Lake Mendota shoreline, on which the Memorial Union sits.

The scope of work on this complex project included expansion of the west wing, restoration of the 1,000-seat historic theater, new arts studio / gallery space, reconstruction of the 200-seat Play Circle Theater and a redesigned outdoor recreation area, among others. Because of the importance of the Memorial Union to the university’s campus experience and student life, it was essential that the union and the iconic terrace remain open during construction, a special challenge given the tight urban site and its position along the lake restricting access. By working in close coordination with the university’s stakeholders and key trade partners, Boldt helped develop a complex phasing plan to deliver the project safely and efficiently.


University of Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin


Boldt Role
  • Construction Manager
  • General Contractor
Project Type
Project Size
180,000 SF


Project Highlights

  • Through close coordination with university stakeholders and key trade partners, Boldt was able to develop a complex phasing plan to complete construction while the Memorial Union and Terrace remained operational for students.
  • Great care was taken to preserve the historic nature and aesthetics of the Memorial Union while modernizing the amenities and infrastructure.
  • Management of construction activities on a tight urban site included coordination of underground utility work, re-routing of bus lines, bicycle, car and pedestrian traffic.