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An architectural rendering of Babcock Hall as it will look when the renovation and expansion are complete. Zimmerman Architectural Studios
An architectural rendering of Babcock Hall as it will look when the renovation and expansion are complete. Zimmerman Architectural Studios

The Babcock Hall renovation and expansion has begun! The major construction project, which broke ground in July 2018, will modernize the building’s dairy plant and augment the Center for Dairy Research (CDR) with a new three-story addition.

When the dust clears in late 2020, the dairy plant will boast a new ice cream maker; more freezer and cooler space; an improved raw milk receiving bay; and new piping, pumps, and valves to more efficiently move milk and milk products around the plant.

The CDR addition will occupy the space formerly filled by Science House (see “So Long, Science House“). It will include state-of-the-art space for research, instruction, and small-scale production that will allow the center to expand the product development services it offers to the state’s cheese industry. The facility’s new equipment will make it easier for CDR staff to work with companies developing all kinds of new dairybased foods. This includes alternative dairy products, such as whey, and fermented dairy products, such as specialty yogurts.

Funding for the project, which will cost $47 million, comes from donors, the state of Wisconsin, and UW–Madison. The donors, who primarily represent the state’s cheese industry, raised more than $18 million. The project would not have been possible without them.