On Wednesday, June 24th The Milwaukee School of Engineering dedicated the Grohmann Tower and celebrated Dr. Hermann Viets for his incredible leadership of the university. Dr. Viets served as MSOE President for 24 years and ushered in a period of growth and expansion unmatched in the university’s history. Among his achievements as president, Dr. Viets started international student exchange opportunities, established a School of Nursing, instituted many new degree programs, oversaw the addition of numerous campus buildings including the Humphrey House, Krueger Hall, Rosenberg Hall, the Kern Center, the Grohmann Museum, Viets Field and Grohmann Tower apartments.
John Hunzinger was honored to serve as a speaker at the event where Dr. Scott Moon, Chairman of MSOE’s Board of Regents, welcomed the crowd and introduced the other speakers including Mayor of Milwaukee Tom Barrett, Commissioner of the Department of City Development Rocky Marcoux and Milwaukee’s 4th District Alderman Robert Bauman. Additionally, Scott Ramlow, a Partner at Uihlein-Wilson Architects and the Grohmann Tower lead designer, shared his reflections of working over the years with Dr. Viets and Hunzinger. Our firms have completed multiple projects together at MSOE with the most recent being the Viets Field and Grohmann Tower projects. John Hunzinger reflected on what it has been like working with a visionary like Dr. Viets and how valuable MSOE is as a resource to the industry, producing talented and well educated engineers.
President Viets announced that Milwaukee School of Engineering had just purchased a 1.78 acre parcel of land thanks to the support of very generous MSOE donors including Regent Dawn Tabat, Regent Bob Kern and Pat Kern, and Regent John Mellowes and Linda Mellowes, and other committed donors. The land, located at 1214 N. Water St., currently is operating as a parking lot. It is directly across from the Grohmann Tower, and is bordered by Water St., Juneau Ave., Knapp St., and Market St. Viets said that there are no immediate plans for the property, which will continue to function as a public parking lot.
The evening continued with building tours of the completed Grohmann Tower, where Hunzinger served as Construction Manager. The complex, 2-phase conversion and renovation took 18 months to complete. Hunzinger self-performed selective demolition and all the concrete and carpentry work. Phase 1 created 102 fully furnished units available by September 1, 2014. The Phase 1 unit configuration consists of Studio, 1-bedroom, and 2-bedroom apartments. Phase 2, includes the completion of floors 11-14, one and 2-bedroom apartments, 35 in all. The Phase 2 units are larger and floors 13 and 14 are reserved for MSOE faculty with floors 11 and 12 being set aside for upperclassmen. The project also included a large Conference Center on the 14th floor with incredible views of Milwaukee, a large board room, break out rooms and state-of-the-art audio visual equipment. The 4th floor student study lounge offers private break out rooms and a large conference room available for rent by the public.