University of Wisconsin-Madison

Public land-grant university and major research institution




Document transformative renovation and unique development
Review jobsite progress remotely
Share real-time access across teams and organizations
Verify work, change orders and activity
Communicate with stakeholders and the community
Excite students and the community with stunning visuals

The Challenge

Collective oversight and communication

The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s gymnasium and natatorium needed an upgrade. The historic site, originally built in 1963, was long past its prime. It was small, with little natural light, no air conditioning and no longer provided adequate space for a growing campus.

The project was massive, complex, and with many eyes watching progress. Generous donors Jim and Sue Bakke, students who provided feedback on plans, the Department of Administration and the University all wanted to keep a pulse on progress.

There needed to be an easy way to track milestones, communicate updates with an engaged public and monitor the site from anywhere.

Kahler Slater in association with HOK, prime contractor JP Cullen, the Department of Administration – Division of Facilities Development (DFD), and the University would come together to tackle the challenge.


The Solution

Superior solar time-lapse cameras for on-demand visibility

The Wisconsin Department of Administration - DFD managed the project and chose OxBlue’s construction camera system to distribute remote jobsite access to all parties. As construction began in early 2021, at a time when COVID-19 impacted supply chains and beyond, the cameras helped ensure hybrid teams had effective project oversight. While internally the cameras provided a way to monitor and document progress; OxBlue’s time-lapse capability and the web app’s one-click sharing helped generate excitement amidst the community.

  • “It was really nice to have the camera and see the project from my desk or at my home office.”

    -Matthew Dapp, DFD Project Manager, State of Wisconsin

  • “Whenever there was a change order and I was traveling, I could pull up the camera on my phone and check throughout the day. It was an easier way of ensuring that things got done and were done in a timely manner.”

    -Matthew Dapp, DFD Project Manager, State of Wisconsin

  • “A time-lapse is a great way to showcase the project and how everything got put together. I could talk about the project for days but a picture is worth a thousand words, showing the 1-minute time-lapse helps others really understand how complex and unique this building is.”

    -Matthew Dapp, DFD Project Manager, State of Wisconsin

  • “Just looking back on the sequencing of the building helped provide lessons learned for other projects on how we can construct facilities of this size.”

    -Matthew Dapp, DFD Project Manager, State of Wisconsin

UW Madison Gymnasium - Implementation

The Implementation

Documenting and verifying site changes

The project team used an 8MP solar Cobalt camera to automatically document activity on site. The information captured proved valuable in many ways. Since OxBlue cameras time- and weather-stamp each image, the team was able to easily review footage, verify labor hours and negotiate weather credits. When the general contractor uncovered an unknown issue with the foundation, DFD, the project architect, and University were able to understand how and why the change order was needed and adjust the scope accordingly. After-hours, the ongoing time-lapses acted as a backup security system as teams could review footage to see who was responsible if materials were left unattended or gates unlocked.

For the public, the cameras were a means of communication. Students and community members were able to click a link on the campus’ project site to access the cameras themselves on a livestream. Through the OxBlue web-app, stakeholders shared time-lapses to social media right from the camera; keeping up the excitement amongst the community.

UW Madison Gymnasium - Result

The Results

Sharing success with stunning visuals

The camera documentation not only showcased the project but also provided valuable lessons for future facilities. With the ability to capture time-lapses, the team highlighted a key feature: landscaping that pays homage to the effigy mounds of the native Ho-Chunk Nation. Alongside the professional time-lapse, all stakeholders had a cinematic way to share the history of the wellness center’s development.

The new center boasts a 25-yard recreational pool, a teaching kitchen, sports simulators, 8 basketball courts, an indoor track, mental health spaces and an indoor ice arena. A dedicated 4,300 sq ft space for wellbeing is one of the signature features of the 270,000 sq ft UW Madison Bakke Recreation & Wellbeing Center. Now, the gymnasium stands as a true testament to the University’s commitment to innovation, sustainability and inclusivity.

Watch the Project

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