UW Madison Plant Facility History
1950-1951 - First greenhouses at Walnut Street are constructed. These houses had about 6,000 sq. ft. of bench space. They were state-of-the-art, for the time they were built in. These were redwood framed structures.
1960's - Aluminum and galvanized steel houses added on to the original Walnut Street structure. This added another 6,000 sq. ft. of bench space to the facility.
1992 – an all-campus faculty committee reviews the plant growth facilities at the UW. They conclude that major renovations are needed, since the existing facilities are outmoded and deteriorating by this time.
1995 – more than 25% of the research greenhouse space on campus is destroyed in order to build an addition to the Biochemistry facility.
1996 - DC Smith greenhouse built. It has won several architectural and design awards, and serves primarily undergraduate courses. The facility houses a teaching collection, and also has a conservatory. It is open to the public.
1996 - 6,360 assignable square feet of containment and specialized greenhouses added to the Biotron facility
2004/2005 – Phase I construction at the Walnut Street Greenhouse
The outdated facilities at Walnut Street are partially demolished and replaced with four new modules. These modules comprise a total of 32 individual growing spaces. The new greenhouses include modern computer environmental controls, proper wastewater discharge, and individual access to rooms through a main corridor. These safety, sanitation and precision features were lacking in the outdated facilities.
2011-2013? – Phase II construction will hopefully begin. This plan, with a budget of 11.0 million dollars will seek to add five new greenhouse modules (40 units.) These will replace the other 39 outdated greenhouses that currently exist, though they will not follow the same footprint of the existing houses. One major motivation for the timing and relocation on this replacement is the fact that the power plant facility will also be building out an addition. This addition is anticipated to severely shade the current greenhouses. Other motivating factors include the heavy usage of the greenhouse, especially in winter months.
To accommodate the displaced research during construction, additional units *may* have to be built at the West Madison facility. This space has been proposed under the Agriculture Research Stations’ Master Plan capital project, and has been proposed for the 2009-2011 biennium.
The land vacated by the old greenhouses at Walnut Street will be converted into a surface parking lot.