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UW regents panel OKs $32.6 million more for building projects



FILE - UW-Madison campus.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A University of Wisconsin System regent committee approved spending $32.6 million Thursday to cover cost overruns for two UW-Madison construction projects.

The Capital Planning and Budget Committee signed off on the spending Thursday morning, clearing the way for a full Board of Regents vote Friday.

UW-Madison is expanding and remodeling Babcock Hall, which produces a number of dairy-based products and houses the Department of Food Science. As of April 2018, the project was expected to cost about $47 million.

The university also is building a new laboratory for the meat science program, which conducts research on meat and food safety. As of October the work was expected to cost $50 million.

According to committee documents, the Babcock work is now expected to cost $72.6 million. UW-Madison officials said quotes for equipment and piping came in higher than expected and construction began before designs for specialized equipment were complete.

The meat science lab, meanwhile, is now expected to cost $57 million. The documents said “highly complex technical design and construction needs” have become fully realized, including designing infrastructure to accommodate donated equipment, designing and installing a hydraulic plant and animal holding pens and equipment for chilling carcasses.

Money to cover the overruns would come from gifts, borrowing and cash.

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