Wandering Milwaukee: Marquette University puts up two tower cranes

Robert A. Wild, S.J. Commons at Marquette University

Soaring high above the Robert A. Wild, S.J. Commons at Marquette University. Photo courtesy of Curtis Waltz at Aerialscapes.

If you’re a college student in Milwaukee, you might think that headline should read “Marquette University puts up student housing.” Apparently we haven’t met. When two tower cranes appear on the same job site around these here parts, they carry the day. Along with all the heavy stuff.

But of course, student housing is important too. Marquette is building the Robert A. Wild, S.J. Commons to house 890 students at the site, bounded by Wisconsin Avenue, 17th, Wells, and 18th Street. We know the general contractor, J.H. Findorff & Son; during last year’s Summerfest visit, we checked out their work at the Westin Milwaukee. (It’s finished, by the way. We stayed there during Summerfest 2017.) Findorff’s task is to have the Robert A. Wild, S.J. Commons ready in time for Fall 2018 classes.

Design duties were split between Milwaukee’s own Workshop Architects and Baltimore-based Design Collective.

You can read the full July 2016 press release from Marquette University here, or see it in its entirety after the photo gallery.

Robert A. Wild, S.J. Commons at Marquette University

The west tower crane sits on a separate lot, and reaches across the street.

Marquette selects design, construction management firms for new residence hall project

July 15, 2016

MILWAUKEE – Marquette University has selected a team to lead the design and construction of a new residence hall development that is scheduled to break ground later this year and open in time for the 2018-19 academic year. The team includes strong participation from firms with a presence in southeast Wisconsin coupled with national expertise in the design and construction of facilities that impact student experience.

Design Collective, a Baltimore-based design firm with national expertise in education and student housing, and Workshop Architects, a Milwaukee-based firm that focuses on creating environments for social interaction and creative expression, will partner to form the design team — a unique collaboration that will combine both firms’ strengths into one integrated team for this project. J.H. Findorff & Son Inc., one of the Midwest’s leading builders with offices in Madison and Milwaukee, will serve as construction manager for the development.

“We’re excited to take the next step toward building a new living community for our students, which has been a primary focus throughout the university’s master planning process,” said University Architect Lora Strigens. “In our search for a design team, we wanted a partnership between a national firm on the leading edge of new trends in student housing and a local firm that understands Marquette and Milwaukee. We also looked for a construction management firm with a strong reputation and roots in our region. Through our collaborative relationship with Design Collective, Workshop Architects and Findorff, we expect to create a transformative living experience for our students.”

The project, estimated at $96 million, is on the southern edge of Wells Street between 17th and 18th Streets. The new co-ed residence hall will house 750 freshmen and sophomore undergraduate students. The site, which is directly north of the existing Humphrey Hall, is already cleared and available. The new residence halls will have approximately 375 beds each and be connected by dining and community space.

Once the new facilities are fully operational, the university plans to raze McCormick Hall, which currently houses 725 beds and is more than 50 years old. Future use of that space will be determined as part of the university’s master planning process. The overall project will primarily be funded through cash reserves, funds from the university’s capital budget and debt financing.

About the firms leading the project:

  • Design Collective is a multi-disciplinary and award-winning design firm. Focusing on specific expertise areas, regardless of discipline, allows them to look at each project holistically, through multiple lenses, and provides clients with added value through direct access to the best and most appropriate design resources.
  • Workshop Architects focuses on creating environments for social interaction and creative expression. Guided by robust research and design methodologies, Workshop’s team of architects, planners and designers work with leading educational, cultural and corporate institutions to plan and design spaces that reflect their clients’ highest aspirations.
  • Findorff is one of the Midwest’s leading builders. The firm employs an average of 700 construction professionals and tradespeople, and completes over $450 million in construction annually. From beginning to end, with every project, they strive for superior quality and award-winning excellence in every project they take on.

About Chris Jenkins

Chris Jenkins

Chris is the Associate Director of University Communication in the Office of Marketing and Communication. Contact Chris at (414) 288-4745 or christopher.t.jenkins@marquette.edu. View all posts by .

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