New Milwaukee Job Corps Center Unveiled
After years of advocacy, planning and waiting, a new educational and vocational opportunity emerges.
Milwaukee, WI – October 8, 2007 -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D) today announced plans for the development of a new 150,000 square foot, eight building Milwaukee Job Corps Center campus on Milwaukee's Northwest side. The Center will provide free educational and vocational skills training, as well as job placement counseling, to "at promise" youth ages 16-24.
"This Job Corps Center is a major development for the City of Milwaukee," said Mayor Barrett. "It will provide hundreds of young people across our City with exciting opportunities to develop advanced job skills and training in a wide range of fields."
"This center gives hope for a better future for many of Milwaukee's youth," said Ursula Twombly, principal and lead designer, Continuum Architects + Planners, S.C., "and could be the catalyst for major architectural changes to better Milwaukee's struggling neighborhoods."
Job Corps, which is run by the U.S. Labor Department, is the Nation's largest and oldest federally funded job training and education program for youth, training about 60,000 students a year at 122 centers nationwide.
Nestled within 25 acres of the former Bacher Farms on North 60th Street between Good Hope and Mill Roads, the $28 million campus will provide housing for 272 residents and 28 non-residents. The Job Corps program serves the entire State of Wisconsin as well as neighboring states.
"With the establishment of the new Job Corps Center, the city is gaining a remarkable training resource," said Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D), a long-term advocate. "This center will provide a valuable opportunity for young people in Milwaukee to develop marketable job skills. Their training will help our city's next generation of skilled workers secure their own future and boost Milwaukee's economy."
The Look and Feel
With planning and design currently underway, local architectural and urban design firm Continuum Architects + Planners, S.C. leads the design team. "We want to have flexibility in the campus and buildings while still creating quality architecture and quality outdoor spaces," said Ursula Twombly of Continuum.
Each of the eight buildings will serve a specific purpose such as education, dormitories, health services and administrative support. A state of the art cafeteria building will house a dining area with multiple food choices including healthy food and the more conventional fare, such as meat and potatoes. Another amenity, the recreation building, will provide gym space for activities such as team sports, aerobics, weight training, as well as an arts and crafts studio, video/movie room, game room, learning resource center, multi-purpose room, student store and snack bar.
"My goal is to make this campus as conducive as possible for a student to learn, to change, to gain a career and to become a whole person," said Twombly, "A campus that will encourage interaction among all students. A campus where tolerance is the norm and life is positive."
"The architecture of this campus has to bring together people from diverse backgrounds and create a community of learning and living together," said Continuum's Dan Beyer, who is the project architect and designer for the project. "A community where a student's desire to learn is discovered and nurtured, where students have a sense of belonging and security, and where students can learn new behavior patterns that inspire them to change their lives."
With the significant size of the vocational campus in close proximity to residential areas, neighbors were concerned about noise. "As part of the design, the outdoor space is being given as much attention as the indoor," explained Beyer, "For this reason, we are introducing subtle design features that will actually quiet down a large campus."
Other design objectives for the project are creating a learning campus atmosphere, outdoor spaces that promote personal interaction, differentiating the site into a day campus and a night campus, compacting the campus to allow for more green space and recreational area, providing student comfort in an environment that fosters applied learning, as well as incorporating sustainable design.
"Even though we have a top notch team, it's still a challenge to mesh all the pieces of the puzzle together to create an efficient and vibrant campus complex," said Corey Lapworth, Continuum's Project Manager.
Eco Responsible Design
The new design will include LEED, or Green Design, principles. According to the US Green Building Council, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. Although the project will not seek LEED certification, it will meet the federal government's new standards for sustainable design.
Twombly is excited about incorporating sustainable practices within the design. "We want sustainability to be visible to students so that it is another item that is learned, just like appropriate social interaction, financial responsibility and employment skills," she said.
Some of the sustainable possibilities include water conservation through the use of native plants and vegetation to minimize irrigation needs; reducing energy consumption up to 30 percent through the use of geothermal technology, a technique that uses the earth's mass to assist in heating and cooling the buildings; and using regional materials to cut down on production costs, transport and air emissions.
In the end, the project will significantly impact the City of Milwaukee and the State of Wisconsin. "I think people should know what Job Corps is, how big of a program it is and how it is helping these young adults," said Lapworth, "It's really pretty remarkable."
Continuum Architects + Planners, S.C. is providing programming, project management and coordination, and full architectural and interior design services for the new campus. The firm has led many similar projects including educational projects at UW-Milwaukee, Madison and Oshkosh as well as the Chazen Museum of Art, St. John's on the Lake, Waukesha State Office Building and other high profile state and local projects.
Additional key firms of local design team include Bloom Consultants LLC, civil and structural engineering; Geiger Engineering Inc. and Zoe Engineering, electrical engineering; JDR Engineering, HVAC engineering; and Native Engineering, fire protection and plumbing. Other firms involved in the front end design include VJS Construction Services, estimating services; Stewart Design, foodservice consulting; and Karpfinger Landscape Architects, landscape design.
The official groundbreaking ceremony is anticipated for November 2008.
The new Milwaukee Job Corp Center is part of the SmartGrowth Plan, which is being completed by Planning Design Institute and Continuum Architects + Planners, the lead consultant teams for the Northwest Side Plan Area for the City of Milwaukee. The campus is within the geographic boundary of the plan and has been identified as one of the catalytic projects for the area. The plan document is currently in draft form and will be approved and released by the City in late 2007. More information on the plan can be found at the Department of City Development websitewww.mkedcd.org.
For more information on the Milwaukee Job Corps Center, please go to http://www.milwaukeejobcorps.org/ or contact Tony Perez of the Housing Authority for the City of Milwaukee at (414) 286-5670.
Additional detail on the Job Corps program can be found at http://jobcorps.dol.gov/about..htm and http://www.njcaweb.org.
For more information: www.continuumarchitects.com or
Contact: email@example.com, Phone: (414) 220-9640