City’s Fire Station 6 to Become Childcare Facility in Madison College Goodman South Campus Expansion
The City of Madison and Madison College are announcing a plan to transfer ownership of Fire Station No. 6, 825 Badger Road, to Madison College for an expansion of the Goodman South Campus that will include a childcare facility. A draft agreement between the City and the College will be introduced for Madison Common Council consideration on Tuesday, November 21.
The proposal would replace the existing fire station with a new building that will provide instructional spaces for early childhood educators, as well as a licensed childcare facility that would be open to students, partners, and the public and be inclusive of drop-in care. College officials expect the expansion project to break ground in mid-to-late 2024, with a projected opening date for academic year 2025-26.
The City has agreed to sell the property to Madison College for a nominal purchase price of $1, and Madison College will in turn agree to operate the expansion for classroom and childcare uses for at least ten years following project completion.
“We, along with our community partners, have long recognized the lack of quality childcare as a barrier for students wanting to attend Madison College, and we know the skills they gain here can propel them into family sustaining employment and adds to the recruitment and retention of employees at our local businesses,” said Madison College President Jack Daniels. “This is the first step, a large step, in expanding Goodman South Campus’ capacity in meeting this crucial need. Providing quality childcare on this site also complements the intention of providing quality and affordable housing and improving our fire and public health facilities. We appreciate all our supporters and partners in helping to meet this community need. It will undoubtedly have a positive impact on economic and community development.”
The City has identified a replacement site for Fire Station No. 6 immediately across Badger Road from the existing site, as part of the planned Park and Badger redevelopment project to be led by the Community Development Authority. There, a new fire station would be constructed on the ground floor of a mixed-use building that would also include affordable housing.
“I am very happy to support the expansion of the Goodman South Campus with a project that also helps address the critical community need for affordable childcare,” said Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway. “This agreement also supports the City’s transformative plans for the Park and Badger block that will improve our fire and public health facilities and add significantly to affordable housing. Between the housing, the childcare, and the improved public facilities, we are making major strides in meeting the community priorities identified in the South Madison Plan.”
“This is a great example of how community-minded institutions can come together and solve community problems,” said District 14 Alder Isadore Knox Jr. “I look forward to working with the community as this transition takes place.”
In 2021, Madison College received a Wisconsin Innovation Grant, part of a collaboration between the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and the Department of Workforce Development (DWD), allowing the college to accelerate its effort to support student-parents through childcare and other services. The grant includes a $1.25 million allocation for a childcare center at the Goodman South Campus and has been bolstered by early leading gifts.
The Goodman South Campus Early Learning Center will serve children aged six weeks to five-years old, and will be City of Madison and nationally accredited, and provide the highest level of care and learning.
“This opportunity fulfills a promise made to students and the community when the college initially opened the Goodman South Campus in 2019,” said Dr. Sylvia Ramirez, the college’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “Childcare needs and finances are one of the biggest derailers of student-parents. The college is grateful and excited about helping student-parents complete their educational and training goals, and at the same time, prepare the next generation of childcare teachers and leaders. We are tackling immediate issues for our students and ensuring a trained workforce for the future.”
The fire station will be temporarily relocated to the former Town of Madison Hall, 2120 Fish Hatchery Road, while the project is being completed. Per preliminary site concepts developed by City staff, a new 14,000 square foot MFD facility is expected to be ready for occupancy by late 2027.