Kahler Slater was originally retained by the University of Wisconsin – Madison (UW) in 2006, and again in 2007 to identify and quantify the recreational space needs on campus. That study resulted in a proposed recreation building expansion at the Natatorium.
This Master Plan process started with and built upon the June 2008 study which concluded that the Natatorium site would be the location for the new recreation facility. For this study, the SERF, Nielsen Tennis Stadium, University Bay/Far West Fields, Near West Fields, and Near East Fields were also included. This allows for maximum future flexibility so all students, faculty and staff have access to recreational facilities.
The Recreational Sports Master Plan's goal was to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the current and future health and wellness needs for students at UW. The deliverables included conceptual designs and estimates that were used for a student referendum in March 2014. The referendum passed with 87% of students in favor of the new facilities and fields.