Plans for a major renovation and expansion of Roy W. Johnson Residence Hall will transform the building into a Living-Learning Community (LLC) to encourage academic success and give students with similar academic, social and personal interests the opportunity to live together, collaborate and share experiences. When work is completed, the hall will be renamed the Hermann Viets Memorial Tower in honor of the late Dr. Hermann Viets, MSOE’s fourth president.

MSOE has received $32 million in philanthropic commitments to support the $37 million renovation and fundraising is underway for the remaining amount. The goal is to have the renovated facility open for the fall 2021 term.

What is a Living-Learning Community?

Living-Learning Communities (LLCs) are unique housing groups that allow students to extend their learning beyond the classroom and enable the university to continue fostering the growth of the MSOE Mindset, which identifies graduates as leaders of character; responsible professionals; passionate learners; and value creators. LLCs create comprehensive in- and out-of-class learning environments that offer heightened levels of student engagement with faculty, peers and their own learning.

Regarded as a high-impact educational practice, LLCs have shown demonstrated impact on student engagement, retention, graduation and personal success by integrating students into a community of like-minded learners. The new space will help MSOE to continue attracting high-caliber students from around the globe, improve student satisfaction, and give them a residential experience to match the quality of the education they are receiving.

What are the new features in the building?

The transformation will include 48 additional rooms and a series of two-story collaboration hubs constructed in a southern-facing, glass enclosed addition overlooking the Milwaukee skyline. Modernized rooms and living spaces will be flexible and designed to serve the diverse needs of all students. New restrooms, a central study area and a kitchenette will round out each floor. The renovated ground floor will offer a completely updated dining experience as well as new classroom space and collaboration hubs to expand the community focused spaces within the building.