WAUKESHA, WIS.— Carroll University has selected design solutions firm BWBR as architect of its new state-of-the-art science center. One of the upper Midwest’s oldest and largest firms, BWBR has completed more than 60 higher education science projects.
Ron Lostetter, Carroll University vice president of finance and administrative services, cited the firm’s experience in designing similar projects across the nation and its visionary thinking as key factors in the decision. “BWBR understands the unique dynamic of designing a 21st century facility that will meet Carroll’s programmatic needs and at the same time respect the integrity and historic nature of our 168-year-old campus,” said Lostetter.
The $22 to $24 million project is the largest single investment in Carroll’s history. It will house interactive teaching and research laboratories for biology, chemistry and biochemistry, along with student/faculty gathering spaces. The facility is expected to be ready for occupancy in fall 2016. It replaces Maxon Hall, which was dedicated in 1961 and is scheduled for demolition.
The effect on campus will be nothing short of transformative, according to Lostetter. All students, regardless of major, will benefit. The specialized anatomy and physiology laboratories in the new building will significantly impact Carroll’s highly regarded undergraduate and graduate natural and health sciences programs, including the university’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS) and nursing programs. Carroll’s pass rate for the DPT program in 2013 was 93 percent. Pass rates for the MSPAS certifying exam and the Nursing NCLEX in 2013 were both 100 percent, all well above national averages.
“BWBR knocked it out of the park with their creativity and the expertise of their team,” said Joanne Passaro, Carroll University provost and vice president for academic affairs. “They added exceptional value with ideas for how to get maximum flexibility from the space to serve today’s students as well as generations of students to come.”
Tom Hanley, BWBR’s principal in charge, said the firm believes in an integrated approach that combines related experience with a true understanding of a client and its mission, in this case taking into account how a building of stone, concrete and laboratories can successfully embody Carroll’s four pillars of Integrated Knowledge, Lifelong Skills, Enduring Values and Gateway Experiences.
“We have been so very impressed with the folks at Carroll University and the level of enthusiasm surrounding this project. You can just feel the energy behind this. It is such a fantastic opportunity with enormous potential and we are really quite honored to be the chosen design partner for this project,” said Hanley.
BWBR has practices in architecture, interior design, and master and strategic planning. Its offices are located in Saint Paul, Minn., and Madison, Wis. The firm has a reputation for service and quality designing complex facilities in the health care, higher education, justice, government, corporate, manufacturing, transportation, worship and recreation markets.
Milwaukee’s Gilbane Building Company is serving as the owner’s representative for the project. Gilbane is ranked as one of the top builders of higher education facilities in the U.S. In the past five years alone, it has delivered more than 160 higher education projects and 34 higher education laboratory projects.
Carroll University, Wisconsin’s oldest four-year institution of higher learning, is an independent, co-educational comprehensive university grounded in the liberal arts tradition. Incorporated in 1846, it offers bachelor’s degrees in 57 majors and master’s degrees in business administration, education, exercise physiology, graphic communication, nursing, physician assistant studies and software engineering, as well as a clinical doctorate in physical therapy.