Originally published February 10, 2011

Teams of architectural engineering and construction management seniors from Milwaukee School of Engineering are working with legendary Green Bay Packer Leroy Butler to develop a design concept, working drawings and construction management plan for the Leroy Butler Learning Center. They unveiled their plans and building models on Saturday, Feb. 12 at MSOE.

The 64,000 square foot learning and training center will be located on the northwest side of Milwaukee, and will incorporate learning and fun for central city residents. The Learning Center will be funded by the LeRoy Butler Foundation, which has been in existence since 2007.

About 30 MSOE students focused their senior design/build project on the $16 million project. The MSOE students will provide Butler and the project’s general contractor, Consolidated Construction Company Inc., with architectural engineering systems selection and analysis, construction methods, project feasibility, estimating and cost analysis and project scheduling, as well as physical models of the building.

The Learning Center will facilitate workforce training classes in the areas of multimedia and life skills to benefit all populations, and especially the at-risk population. Hands-on training in the areas of job readiness, healthy living and technical skills will be available for individuals in many areas. This will prepare, train and polish individuals, promote classroom productivity, and help individuals to acquire all the necessary tools to become a positive and productive workers and citizens. A unique component of the facility is a 32,000 square foot water park, as well as a cafeteria, gym and other recreational tools for residents to enjoy and relax after a day of learning.

“Looking back over my life, I’ve had time to assess it and make important decisions which have brought me to undertake this ‘commitment’ to the community. The Center will benefit schools, colleges, adults, families and especially at-risk youth,” said LeRoy Butler.

The LeRoy Butler Foundation is soliciting donations from businesses to defray the costs of purchasing the land and constructing the facility.

“It’s great to have an interesting project with an engaged client that will challenge the students’ architectural engineering and construction management skills and in the end provide this client real value with their final design solutions,” said MSOE Associate Professor Bob Lemke.

Throughout their senior year MSOE students work on a Senior Design Project, which is an opportunity for students to apply what they’ve learned during their time at MSOE and put it to use in a real-life application. In addition to the LeRoy Butler Learning Center, teams of students have been working on other projects including:

New Vertical Farm Facility for Sweet Water Organics
Sweet Water Organics wants to expand their operation beyond their current facility in a reclaimed industrial building just south of downtown Milwaukee. The expansion of their operation will be a new vertical farm facility on the same site of their original location, and include space for aquaponics, rooms for educational programs for the public as well as packaging, storage and shipping.

One Park East: A new Office Building, Theatre and Parking Structure Complex
Rainier Properties and Marcus Theaters Corp. wish to build a new multi-function complex in the northern downtown Milwaukee region. The project is intended to be a significant destination for the expanding downtown business district. The new building will consist of the following major functions: a multi-story office building; a grouping of 7-8 theatres; and a 500-car parking structure.

Lakeshore State Park Visitor’s Center
The Friends of Lakeshore State Park and the DNR wish to develop a “Living Building Challenge” certified building which has net-zero energy, water and carbon usage. The program consists of a large flexible lobby space that can be used to advertise Wisconsin’s State Park system and for public events. A large plaza connects to the lobby space so indoor/outdoor events can be held there. There will also be DNR offices, classrooms, park facilities, a 24-hour boater’s lounge and restrooms.

MSOE is an independent university with 2,600 students. MSOE offers 18 bachelor’s degrees and 10 master’s degrees in the engineering, engineering technology, building and infrastructure engineering, computer, business, nursing and health-related fields. The university has a national academic reputation; longstanding ties to business and industry; dedicated professors with real-world experience; and extremely high placement rates and starting salaries. MSOE graduates are well-rounded, technologically experienced and highly productive professionals and leaders.