The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has received a $2.1 million gift from the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin for the construction of a 15,000-square-foot multipurpose building that will create a dedicated basketball practice facility and improve the student recreation space on campus.
The new building will be connected to the Klotsche Center & Pavilion, which houses the university’s fitness center, pool and 3,500-seat arena. In recognition of this gift, which is the largest ever given to UWM Athletics, the building will be named the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin Center, or OHOW Center.
“I am tremendously grateful to the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin for this generous gift,” Chancellor Mark Mone said. “The OHOW Center will relieve space constraints in the Klotsche Center and ultimately provide a better experience for our student-athletes and all of our students, faculty and staff who use our recreational spaces. We have been looking forward to this expansion for several years, and this gift from OHOW will have a significant impact and improve the wellness of those who visit the center.”
The OHOW Center will be located on the east side of the Pavilion and will be connected by a skywalk over the existing driveway to preserve access to the Pavilion parking structure.
Use of the Klotsche Center & Pavilion has more than doubled in the past decade while participation in intramural sports has risen 97%. By providing a separate basketball practice facility and gymnasium space, the new building will alleviate congestion in the Klotsche Center during peak times when athletics and campus recreation use coincides.
“Seeing this project become a reality is very exciting,” Director of Athletics Amanda Braun said. “Being able to offer our basketball programs a dedicated practice facility gives us the opportunity to continue to be leaders in the Horizon League and allows us to enhance our recruiting efforts for our highest profile sport programs. The continued growth in the use of the Klotsche Center by all students has created the need for this facility. We are very thankful to OHOW for taking the main role in support of the new facility and allowing us to meet the needs of the student-athletes and the entire campus.”
The Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin has been a partner of UWM for several years. In December 2018, OHOW renewed its contract as the exclusive provider of orthopedic care, physical therapy and health care coverage for Panther student-athletes.
“Supporting student-athletes and helping them succeed is what we do,” OHOW CEO Brian Cramer said. “We believe in being involved in our community, and our relationship with UWM is a prime example of that commitment. We are proud to have our name associated with UWM, and we want the OHOW Center to enhance the UWM campus and the experience of all who use it.”
The OHOW gift will be used for planning, construction, furnishing, staffing and operations of the new building. Construction of the OHOW Center is completely funded through philanthropic gifts and student-directed segregated fees that are already being collected. It will not result in future increases to student segregated fees and does not rely on state funds. Total cost of the project is estimated to be $8 million.
This gift supports UWM’s comprehensive fundraising effort – Made in Milwaukee, Shaping the World: The Campaign for UWM. The largest in UWM history, this campaign focuses on student success, research excellence and community engagement.