MSOE unveils plans for new Kendall Breunig Center for the Built Environment
Milwaukee School of Engineering unveiled plans for the Kendall Breunig Center for the Built Environment at 310 E. Knapp St. Once renovations are complete, the three-story 58,429 square foot building will be home to MSOE’s Civil and Architectural Engineering and Construction Management (CAECM) Department. MSOE acquired the building from Sunset Investors in spring 2023.
The building is named for Dr. Kendall G. Breunig, owner and principal of Sunset Investors and MSOE Regent and alumnus. Breunig graduated from MSOE with an Associate of Applied Science in Architectural and Building Construction Engineering Technology in 1978 and a bachelor’s degree in the same field in 1979. He received an M.S. in Civil Engineering from Marquette University in 1987 and was later awarded an Honorary Doctor of Engineering from MSOE in 2017. He served as a member of the MSOE Corporation before joining the Board of Regents in 2016 and was inducted to MSOE’s Alumni Wall of Distinction in 2021.
In addition to making the facility available to MSOE at approximately $9 million less than the building’s assessed value, Breunig has committed to give $2 million toward the cost to transform the building into an academic facility. The total cost to renovate the facility is $14 million, and MSOE will be engaging in a campaign to raise private support to fund the entirety of the construction.
“Kendall Breunig has transformed commercial development in the Milwaukee area and across Southeastern Wisconsin, building on the skills he honed at MSOE. We are thankful that he is helping MSOE continue its campus improvements,” said Dr. John Walz, MSOE president. “With the Kendall Breunig Center for the Built Environment, MSOE will continue its tradition of educating the next generation of construction leaders who will design and build the future landscape of our city and beyond.”
Once renovations are complete, students will enjoy an outdoor plaza and an indoor commons area; learn in seven laboratories and six classrooms; and hone their skills in the presentation area. There also will be dedicated space for faculty, staff and students to collaborate, study, socialize and work on projects for their competition teams, classes and senior capstones.
“MSOE provided the base for my career in design and construction management, but also specifically my real estate development work,” said Breunig. “I owe my current success to my degree from MSOE, so I am honored to support the university and help other MSOE grads to start successful careers.”
Renderings courtesy of Ramlow/Stein Architecture
The CAECM Department offers undergraduate programs in architectural engineering, civil engineering and construction management, and graduate programs in architectural engineering and civil engineering. The department is the third largest at MSOE in terms of student enrollment, creating the need for dedicated space. These students are in extremely high demand by employers. Since 2018, nearly every class of graduates from the architectural engineering, civil engineering and construction management programs have enjoyed a 100% graduate outcomes rate, meaning they are employed in their field within six months of graduation.
The term “built environment” encompasses buildings, the distribution of utility systems, and roads, bridges and transportation systems—essentially everything that is taught in MSOE’s civil engineering, architectural engineering and construction management programs. MSOE is assembling a steering committee of volunteers to assist in the effort to raise the private funds needed to complete the renovation of the facility.
Plans for the Kendall Breunig Center for the Built Environment continue a renaissance for the 120-year-old university and its urban campus under President John Walz’s leadership. Major campus enhancements in the past five years include the creation of Dwight and Dian Diercks Computational Science Hall, Hermann Viets Tower, The We Energies STEM Center at MSOE, Direct Supply’s Innovation and Technology Center at MSOE, Raiders Stadium, Spitzer Dining Commons and more recently, The Patricia E. Kern Conservatory of Music, MSOE Welcome Center, Raiders Field and the University Terrace, a green space in the heart of the university's downtown campus.
The Kendall Breunig Center for the Built Environment is in the northeast quadrant of the MSOE campus at the intersection of N. Broadway and E. Knapp St. Occupying the other three corners of that intersection are MSOE’s Pamela and Hermann Viets Field, an NCAA Division III competition field for soccer, lacrosse and club sports; MSOE’s Kern Center, a 210,000-square-foot recreation, athletic, health and wellness facility; and a small parking lot for the university. Currently, the building is leased to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s immigration services and enforcement field offices, who announced plans to relocate prior to MSOE’s purchase. Renovation work will begin once they have moved to their new location.
Dr. Kendall G. Breunig ’79
Dr. Kendall G. Breunig has been the owner and principal of Sunset Investors, a diversified real estate company, since 1990. Under the umbrella of Sunset Investors is Breunig Engineering Inc., EZ Self Storage LLP and Coating Place Inc., of which he is the president, managing member/majority owner, and part-owner and corporate secretary, respectively. Breunig graduated from MSOE with an Associate of Applied Science in Architectural and Building Construction Engineering Technology in 1978 and a bachelor’s degree in the same field in 1979. He received an M.S. in Civil Engineering from Marquette University in 1987 and was later awarded an Honorary Doctor of Engineering from MSOE in 2017. He served as a member of the MSOE Corporation before joining the Board of Regents in 2016.
About Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE)
MSOE is the university of choice for those seeking an inclusive community of experiential learners driven to solve the complex challenges of today and tomorrow. The independent, non-profit university has about 2,700 students and was founded in 1903. MSOE offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering, business and nursing. Faculty are student-focused experts who bring real-world experience into the classroom. This approach to learning makes students ready now as well as prepared for the future. Longstanding partnerships with business and industry leaders enable students to learn alongside professional mentors, and challenge them to go beyond what’s possible. MSOE graduates are leaders of character, responsible professionals, passionate learners and value creators.