VietsField.jpgThe Daily Reporter has chosen MSOE’s Pamela and Hermann Viets Field as one of the Top Projects of 2013. The award is given to the most challenging, innovative and awe-inspiring Wisconsin construction projects from 2013 that:

  • have a lasting effect on the community in which they were built
  • had serious challenges that were met by contractors on the job
  • used construction innovations
  • served their purpose with extraordinary efficiency and style
  • showed excellence in planning, engineering, design and construction management

Viets Field features an athletic field constructed on top of an in-ground, 780-car parking facility. The field is used for collegiate soccer, lacrosse, rugby and youth sports. As an extension of the Kern Center, it further supports MSOE’s commitment to student wellness and development as a whole person. There also is a small ground-level public park on the northern end of the site along Water Street. The $30 million project is the first major development of its kind in the Park East Corridor. The development was largely supported with a very generous donation from Drs. Robert and Patricia Kern.

There are several sustainable features in the new complex. Not only do the park and field provide needed green space for downtown, they reduce the heat island effect from hard surface building roofs and pavement. The three levels of parking under the field reduce local asphalt surface parking lots by 6.9 acres.

The athletic field is the first all-LED lit competition field in the United States, and the lights can be dimmed depending on the use of the field. The parking complex also features LED lighting, which decreases to 50 percent brightness when there is no activity. Dr. Alan Ruud, MSOE chairman of the board, donated all of the lighting for the field and parking complex. The LED lighting uses one-fourth the amount of energy that would be required by equivalent traditional metal halide fixtures. Taking all of these items into consideration, the facility could save up to 200,000 kilowatt hours annually as compared to a similar facility lit 24 hours a day/365 days per year with non-LED fixtures.

Uihlein-Wilson Architects were the project developers, and Hunzinger Construction Company was the general contractor.

MSOE is an independent, non-profit university with about 2,600 students that was founded in 1903. MSOE offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering, business, mathematics and nursing. The university has a national academic reputation; longstanding ties to business and industry; dedicated professors with real-world experience; a 96% placement rate; and the highest average starting and mid-career salaries of any Wisconsin university according to PayScale Inc. MSOE graduates are well-rounded, technologically experienced and highly productive professionals and leaders.