Nick rec facility rendering (copy)

An architectural rendering of the northeast entrance to the future Nicholas Recreation Center — “the Nick,” for short — which will replace the Southeast Recreational Facility in 2020.

UW-Madison students may shell out an extra $170 next year in fees under a budget proposal from the University of Wisconsin System.

Residence hall rates at the flagship campus would also increase by an average of $208, and meal plans would rise by $50, according to the plan.

The planned increases come as the UW System is about to enter the seventh year of a mandated tuition freeze for in-state undergraduates. Before the freeze began, student fees were about $1,100.

All UW-Madison students paid $1,282 in fees last academic year for services such as student union access, health services, buses and recreation. If passed by the UW System’s Board of Regents at a meeting Thursday, the fees will be bumped to $1,452 for the 2019-20 academic year.

The majority of the proposed 13% increase will go toward paying for major upgrades to recreational facilities that 87% of students approved in 2014. About 14,000 students, or roughly a third of campus, voted in the referendum.

A facility that will replace the Southeast Recreational Facility, or SERF, is expected to open in 2020. It was part of the state’s 2015-17 capital budget. The other athletic facility, a new natatorium that will replace the existing one, was part of the 2019-21 budget signed into law last week by Gov. Tony Evers.

UW-Madison officials have previously said the SERF was in need of replacement because the 1983 facility had a pool too small to host swim meets, a leaky roof and plumbing problems.

Another reason for the fee hike is the desire among students for more mental health services. About $8.50 of each student’s fees will go toward additional staff and hours for the services.

UW-Madison’s proposed fee increase is the highest among the System’s 13 four-year campuses. Other UW institution segregated fee increases include a $2 hike at UW-Whitewater and a $71 hike at UW-Stout, according to the proposal.

UW-Madison’s proposed fee rate of $1,452 ranks fourth-highest among the campuses. UW-Superior has the highest per-student fees at $1,597 annually.

Students at every four-year campus except UW-Milwaukee and UW-River Falls would see an increase in room and board rates. Increases would range from $258 at UW-Madison to $20 at UW-Stout.

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Kelly Meyerhofer covers higher education for the Wisconsin State Journal. She can be reached at 608-252-6106 or kmeyerhofer@madison.com.