Madison Area Technical College is looking to expand and repurpose its downtown campus into a center for the arts, possibly adding a public gallery and a gourmet dining room.
MATC is preparing a request for proposals and seeking a developer to partner with at the site, located a block from Capitol Square on Wisconsin Avenue.
"It just is a natural fit," says Mike Stark, director of facilities services, citing downtown's many arts attractions, restaurants and hotels.
The campus now has 200,000 square feet of space, hosting classes for cosmetology, health and dental care, among others. Many of those classes would move to other campuses, and the downtown campus would be used for visual arts, graphic design and culinary arts, as well as hotel, restaurant and event management.
The college won't need more space at the site, but may seek an expansion on the Wisconsin Avenue side of the building to allow for partnerships with private entities allied with the art-food mission.
"The site we have is underutilized," says Stark, adding that specific plans and a construction timeline will have to wait until a partner is found. "The list of entities we could bring into that site is large."