Project information

UW-Madison’s Babcock Hall is undergoing a major renovation and expansion. The $47M project involves the renovation of the Babcock Hall Dairy Plant on its existing footprint, as well as a new, three-story addition for the Center for Dairy Research (CDR).

Babcock Hall was built in the early 1950s, and today houses the Department of Food Science, the Babcock Hall Dairy Plant, the Babcock Hall Dairy Store and the CDR. This construction project represents the first major upgrade to the Babcock Hall Dairy Plant since then. It will also provide the CDR, which was established in 1986, with the space and equipment it needs to meet its research and outreach mission.

The architectural plan for the project was developed with the support of a design team including representatives from UW-Madison, industry groups and the state Division of Facilities Development working with vendor Zimmerman Architectural Studios. The Wisconsin Building Commission and the UW Board of Regents approved final plans in spring 2018, and the project moved into the construction phase in summer 2018.

The project, led by contractor C.D. Smith Construction, involves three distinct phases. First is the construction of a new loading dock and milk receiving bay, as well as the demolition of Science House. Second is the construction of the new CDR three-story addition. Third is the renovation of the Babcock Hall Dairy Plant, which will likely begin in early 2020. The project is anticipated to be completed in the latter part of 2020.

The Babcock Hall Dairy Store and other parts of the building not impacted by remodeling will remain open throughout construction. While the dairy plant is closed for renovations, Babcock ice cream will continue to be made at an off-site frozen dessert manufacturing facility, following the plant’s special recipe, and will available for purchase at regular retail locations.

Read more about completed project milestones.