UW-Milwaukee took a big step toward meeting the growing needs of its men’s and women’s basketball programs by breaking ground on an addition of the Klotsche Center and Pavilion.
“The new facility is well worth the wait,” Amanda Braun, UWM director of athletics, said at a groundbreaking ceremony Aug. 25. “It will strengthen the basketball programs, benefit all students and create another selling point for UWM.”
The addition of the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin Center will reduce competition for space within Klotsche, which is used by UWM’s Division I athletics programs, intramural leagues and individual students.
“This is a game changer for student-athletes and students,” said Cathy Rossi, UWM deputy director of athletics. “Facilities like this are becoming the norm in Division I college athletics.”
The 16,000-square-foot expansion will feature a full-sized basketball court that mirrors the game surfaces, a basketball strength and conditioning center, video room, auxiliary sports medicine and treatment center, and basketball student-athlete lounge.
“HGA did a great job designing the space,” Kyle Rechlicz, UWM women’s basketball head coach. “Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin Center fosters cross-team bonding and supports the players as both students and athletes.” (HGA is the architect on the project.)
More dedicated practice space for the basketball programs affords athletes more time to develop their skills, said Pat Baldwin, UWM men’s basketball head coach.
“It helps attract the kind of athlete we are looking for — the kind dedicated on the court and the classroom,” Baldwin said.
While the space is designed for the UWM basketball program, the addition will benefit all students by allowing intramural teams to have more playing time and space in Klotsche. Popular intramural programs like soccer, football and baseball will now have more room to grow.
“This is incredibly exciting time for the UWM athletes, students and campus,” UWM Chancellor Mark Mone said at the groundbreaking. “Increased access to the Klotsche Center will improve overall physical and mental health on campus.”
Funding for the project came from a $2.1 million donation from the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin Center in 2018, along with $7 million from student segregated fees collected over nine years.
According to Rossi, there will be “shovels in the ground” after Labor Day. The Athletics Department expects to begin using the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin Center in fall of 2022, Rossi said. Construction on the addition will be finalized by December 2022.
The construction of the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin Center is one of several renovations on campus getting underway this year, including construction of a new chemistry building and renovations in the Northwest Quadrant and the UWM Student Union.