University of Wisconsin–Madison

About the Physical Plant

The Facilities Planning & Management (FP&M) Physical Plant provides campus services in four distinct areas:

  • Maintenance and Operations provides construction, renovation, and maintenance services to the university’s 400+ buildings and other facilities.
  • Campus Renovation Services designs and manages the construction of non-capital renovation projects.
  • Services helps operate, maintain, and enhance the physical facilities of the University. These services include custodial, rubbish collection, recycling, landscaping, pest control, snow removal, mail delivery, road and parking lot maintenance, and moving and truck service.
  • Utilities and Energy Management manages the university’s heating and cooling plants, as well as the campus utility distribution system.

Leadership Team

Jay Bieszke

Executive Director

jay.bieszke@wisc.edu

608/263-3077

Kris Ackerbauer

Director
Services

kris.ackerbauer@wisc.edu

608/265-2758

Pamela Barrett

Director
Campus Renovation Services

pamela.barrett@wisc.edu

608/890-0774

Michael Peña

Director
Safeguard Services

michael.pena@wisc.edu

608/265-2321

Jeff Pollei

Director
Utilities and Energy Management

jeffrey.pollei@wisc.edu

608-890-1067

History of the Physical Plant

When UW-Madison first began, fewer employees were needed to clean and maintain the campus buildings. Buildings and Grounds Department employees worked from several scattered locations on campus in the university’s early years. When University Architect Arthur Peabody was supervising the construction of the Stock Pavilion in 1907, he noticed a lack of storage space for construction supplies. Peabody decided that if a new building were built, it should provide space for storing supplies and as well house several of the trades under one roof. Peabody designed the Service Building at 1217 University Avenue to meet these needs; it was constructed in 1910 and later enlarged in 1921.

About 1920, A.F. Gallistel, who helped Peabody supervise construction of several campus buildings, was promoted to be the Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds. Gallistel remained Superintendent for nearly 20 years. The term “physical plant” was used in Gallistel’s day to describe the employees who cared for the physical needs of the campus buildings. The department name was eventually changed to be the Physical Plant.

The Physical Plant remained its own division within the university until 1990, when it was combined with the departments of Campus Planning & Landscape Architecture, Capital Planning & Development, Environment, Health & Safety, the Space Management Office, and Transportation Services to form the Division of Facilities Planning & Management.