When UW Athletics officials have been asked to rank the department's big-ticket projects, they have placed the Kohl Center ahead of Camp Randall.
Jason King, UW's senior associate athletic director for capital projects and operations, said there's a clear reason for prioritizing the expansion of space for strength and conditioning, academics, sports medicine and nutrition over a revenue-generating addition of premium seats.
"It's about trying to create these opportunities for success for the athletes," he said. "It's a student services-driven space. The vast, vast majority, 98 percent of it is going to be student services."
The Kohl Center expansion was featured in the master plan as an addition to the southeast corner, near railroad tracks. But the plan now is to build facilities, including new offices for men's and women's basketball, over the loading dock in the southwest corner.
Coaches of UW teams who use weight room facilities at the Kohl Center have complained of not having enough space. The plans also address deficiencies in academic space as well as a shortage of office space for Athletics.
UW will know more about the timing for projects at the Kohl Center and Camp Randall after Thursday's meeting of the Board of Regents, which is due to prioritize campus building projects in the 2019-21 state budget.
The Kohl Center addition and renovation has a price tag of more than $48 million, according to materials due to be presented to the Regents. Of that, $10 million is due to come from gifts, $4.1 million from cash reserves and nearly $34 million from state bonds.
The venue opened in 1998 at a cost of $76 million.