Milwaukee School of Engineering Grohmann Tower Apartments – is located at 1150 North Water Street, Milwaukee, WI. Hunzinger was hired as construction manager on MSOE’s new residence hall, Grohmann Tower. The school purchased the Staybridge Suites which stood unfinished and almost entirely vacant since 2009, when financial problems halted construction of the planned hotel. The site remained dormant until the leadership at MSOE saw the value of adding the property to its vibrant campus.

Uihlein Wilson Architects, located in downtown Milwaukee, was the project architect for this complex 2-phased conversion that is part renovation and part new construction. Hunzinger self-performed selective demolition and all the concrete and rough and finish carpentry work. Phase 1 made 102 fully furnished units available by September 1, 2014. All the apartments were filled by the start of the fall semester. The Phase 1 unit configuration consists of Studio, 1-bedroom, and 2-bedroom apartments including all utilities (heat, air conditioning, electricity and water) and full kitchens and bathrooms. Phase 2, which includes the completion of floors 11-14 will be complete by August 1, 2015 and includes 35 one and 2-bedroom apartments that also include utilities with full bathrooms and kitchens. 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 a large board room, break out rooms and state-of-the-art audio visual equipment. The 4th floor also includes a student study lounge that offers private break out rooms and a large conference room available for rent by the public.

Frozen elevators, broken pipes and latent building code problems all awaited Hunzinger in the first phase of this challenging renovation.  Some of these were known before construction started but many more were uncovered as the project progressed.  As conditions changed, one thing remained the same- the completion date.  Hunzinger’s “A-Team” headed by Jon Jansen & Brent Verhyen were equal to the task.  Jon & Brent led an intensely collaborative construction process working with MSOE, Uihlein/Wilson and all subcontractors to make sure that problems were solved and continuous progress was achieved.  The result?  100,000+ square feet of renovation, covering 9 floors and including 102 housing units for over 200 students completed by the September 2014 move- in day.  All this was achieved in less than 6 months and could not have been without Jon & Brent.

Scott Ramlow, Partner, Uihlein Wilson Architects