Madison College considers closing downtown, west locations

Madison College considers closing downtown, west locations
Madison College campus on Carroll Street

Madison College is looking into closing buildings on the west side and downtown and putting a new focus on bringing more classes to the south side.

College President Dr. Jack Daniels is proposing the sale of the downtown education center, non-renewal of the lease that the campus holds on the west side building on Mineral Point Road and establishing a comprehensive campus on the south side.

“We are not facility-driven. We’re mission-driven by serving our students,” Daniels said.

A recommendation document said the south side “has the greatest unemployment, poverty and low educational attainment, coupled with transportation and access issues.” The south campus would include enrollment services, student success centers, advising and career services.

Daniels’ recommendation states that the student population at the west side campus has declined since the human and protective services program was moved to the Truax campus. He said the college will look into providing classes at another west side site. The lease at the current site expires in June 2016.

Daniels’ report said it would be cost prohibitive to address infrastructure needs at the downtown building and that enrollment declined when the Allied Health programs moved to the Truax campus. It would not be sold until the comprehensive campus site is secured.

“We also have a facility that has aged, and there’s lots of infrastructure needs to continue,” Daniels said. “So we have to ask ourselves the question: Is this the type of facility that we want to have for students to learn in in the future?”

Daniels acknowledged that the changes will be difficult, but said they are needed to provide the best instruction and services to the area.

“When you think about poverty, you think about jobs. You think about jobs, you think about training,” Daniels said. “And I think we have that commitment to that under-served population.”

The recommendations were presented on Wednesday. The college board is set to consider the recommendations next month.