Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

MATC Creating Campus Gateway, Demolishing Building

College will better integrate with The Brewery District, Deer District.

By - Sep 24th, 2020 01:22 pm
MATC Pocket Park rendering. Image from MATC.

MATC Pocket Park rendering. Image from MATC.

Milwaukee Area Technical College plans to demolish a one-story building to create a more attractive gateway to its downtown campus.

The $300,000 project, expected to be completed by spring 2021, will have the technical college convert a portion of the site at 739 W. Juneau Ave. into a pocket park and rain garden.

“It’s an opportunity to take an eyesore on that corner and make a better image for MATC,” said Ginny Routhe, director of facilities planning, sustainability and construction, in an interview.

“It’s really our northwestern entrance for our campus,” said James Weishan, senior director of facilities development, operations and construction.

The 0.54-acre property sits just west of the roundabout that serves as the border between The Brewery District and Deer District. Across N. 8th St. from the property is The Forty-Two, a former Pabst Brewery distribution area redeveloped into an office building, event venue and home for Milwaukee Brewing Company.

It’s an area that just 10 years ago was largely vacant, but now sees a growing amount of traffic, both pedestrian and vehicular, as people live, work and play in the area due to the redevelopment of the former Pabst Brewery and the development of Fiserv Forum. That growing traffic includes a number of MATC students and staff who park in The Brewery parking garage and walk to campus.

“It really helps us fit in a little better,” said Weishan.

Routhe said the final product will have MATC remove 5,500 square feet of pavement from the site and reprogram the space to be able to store 17,000 gallons of rainwater. “We are offering seating and kind of a park-like atmosphere there,” she said of the plans. The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District will provide a $30,302 grant as well as educational signage on the benefits of stormwater retention. The Fund for Lake Michigan will contribute $50,000.

The college will demolish a one-story building, last used by the American Federation of Teachers, as well as removing paving from an adjacent parking lot. The school uses much of the property as a service yard for its downtown campus. Online city assessment records do not give a date of construction for the building, which has a masonry facade and many glass block windows. MATC has owned the property for decades.

“The demolition should happen with three to five weeks,” said Routhe. Selzer-Ornst Construction Company is leading the demolition.


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