Building The Future Together

Hunzinger recently completed the new Progressive Community Healthcare’s Lisbon Avenue Clinic located at 3522 W. Lisbon Avenue.  After a very busy weekend of moving needed equipment and files from their old clinic next door, Progressive began seeing patients on Tuesday, February 17th.  Hunzinger was the Construction Manager on this new $11 million, 42,000 square foot, 3-story healthcare facility designed by HGA Architects and Engineers that replaces their 8,500 square foot facility on the adjacent lot.  This new clinic enables Progressive to serve an additional 11,000 patients annually and is a federally qualified health center providing services to primarily underserved, low-income populations in Milwaukee’s central city.

The project includes an on-site radiology department with full x-ray and ultrasound capabilities, 13 full service dental chairs, 24 exam rooms, 6 ob-gyn exam rooms, 3 specialty exam rooms, a phlebotomy lab, a modern medical records department, a multi-purpose health education room and administration offices that allow for the administrative functions to be under the same roof where their services are delivered to their clients.  There is also a partially finished basement that can be built out for future expansion.

Monique Charlier of Rivet, LLC served as the Owner’s Representative on the project that received funding from a variety of sources including a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration, $500,000 from the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership, $100,000 from the City of Milwaukee’s CDGB funds, $25,000 from the Elizabeth Elser Doolittle Trust and a private donation of $2 million from Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin, as well as, utilizing new market tax credit financing.


The construction schedule was roughly 14 months.  We broke ground in December of 2013 and immediately had to deal with the record breaking cold of January and February.  “We were really hit with a harsh winter and Rams Contracting had to dig through 8 feet of frost but we persevered.  All the crews faced the below zero temperatures bravely and we kept the project on schedule,” said Jim Callen, Hunzinger Project Superintendent.

The tight urban site posed another challenge for our team as there was very limited space to maneuver or to store materials.  The old clinic, and the new one being built, were constructed right up to the sidewalk on Lisbon Avenue.  The new clinic is only 3 feet to the west of a 2-story building that serves as a small dental clinic and sits on the corner of 35th and Lisbon and just to the north is The Westside Academy, a large MPS building.  On the west elevation of the new facility is the old clinic that was serving patients throughout construction and is slated to be torn down later this month.

“All deliveries had to be coordinated as “just in time” and we had to stay very proactive in our planning construction activities and scheduling the contractors.  We asked for very close coordination from our contractors right from the start.  In order to meet the schedule, we had 2 cranes operating simultaneously within a 10,000 square foot site which called for lots of cooperation.  One crane was working on footings and concrete wall construction while the other was busy building the masonry walls for the elevator and stair shafts.  We had great cooperation and completed the work on schedule and without any safety issues”, Callen continued.

This project also had one of our newest Assistant Project Managers working on it, Michael Jahns, who began working for Hunzinger this past June and immediately began spending time on site with Project Superintendent Jim Callen.  “It has been a great nine months, I have really learned a lot and Jim is an excellent teacher.  I really appreciated his patience with me.  He answered all my questions and really showed me the Hunzinger way of doing things the right way.  Also, it has been so rewarding to work on a project that is going to have such a positive impact on the community.  Knowing what this clinic is going to do for this neighborhood made going to work very satisfying”, Jahns reflected.