MATC Truax Campus (copy)

Madison Area Technical College's Truax Campus.

Madison College’s plan to convert a former truck rental facility into a new Child and Family Center moved one step closer to becoming a reality at the city's Plan Commission meeting Monday night.

The panel gave unanimous approval to the proposed one-story building at 1835 Wright St. that would house a daycare operation, currently operating out of the technical college's main Truax building.

Madison College owns the property at 1835 Wright St. and has been leasing it out to Penske Truck Rental since 2011. The lease is up this year and Penske will be relocating to a new facility in DeForest later this spring.

“The college has a ten-year plan that has a framework for construction projects at the school and general ideas of where the college wants to go,” said Fred Brechlin, director of Planning and Construction at Madison College. “The childcare program was one of the projects that was more immediate that we wanted to find better space for. The ten-year plan said to take a look at programs first that don’t have to be inside the main campus building. The childcare program doesn’t have to be inside Truax, since it’s not an instructional program.”

The building is currently about 17,025 square feet, but new construction around the current frame will add space. An application to the Plan Commission stated that the daycare itself is expected to take up about 8,500 square feet of the building, leaving some room for future use by the college. There will be an outdoor play area as well as 218 parking stalls.

“The exterior is going to be upgraded to match more of the Madison College standards,” Brechlin said. “It is going to really blend with the Truax campus. A lot of the asphalt around the current building will be trimmed back. The new building will utilize solar power from panels placed on the roof.”

Both Ken Turba, who will be leading the development, and Brechlin said that the goal will be to break ground on the project in late March or early April in order to have the new daycare center operational for the fall semester in 2020.

“It has to go to the Common Council next week and then after that it should be ready for construction in spring,” Turba told The Cap Times. “It will be servicing daycare needs for staff and students, about fifty kids is what they’re planning on based on licensing applications.”

The center provides daycare primarily for children of students at Truax. Some faculty also have children who utilize the daycare center. Brechlin said the daycare is currently full and uses two classrooms in Truax. That will be expanded to four classrooms in the new building.

The Plan Commission gave approval to the project without discussion at Monday’s meeting during the consent agenda portion of the meeting.