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MILWAUKEE-The Marquette University Board of Trustess approved the first phase of the $100 million College of Engineering facility Opus North Corp. has been chosen as the Design-Builder, while Opus Architects & Engineers will serve as the architect of record. Hamel Green & Abramson helped Opus design the project.

Phase one of the project will be the construction of a 100,000-square-foot, five-story building. Four university-owned buildings will be demolished to make way for the new laboratory-focused facility. The building is being constructed using the teaching and research house concept, according to Opus officials. It will have labs, classrooms and student work areas designed to enhance the collaboration between fellow students and staff.

“The facility is organized about a central spine, showcasing dynamic laboratories, and providing collaborative spaces to gather and foster a creative community,” says Terry Helland, director of design architecture for Opus A&E. “The exterior architecture speaks to the lab planning module and the engineering logic of assembly while the repetitive monumental elements and rhythm echo the collegiate gothic architectural vocabulary found elsewhere on campus.”

Marquette University Architect, Thomas Ganey, says “the university expects to break ground for the new building in spring 2010 with initial occupancy planned for August 2011.” The facility will be located on the southwest corner of W. Wisconsin Avenue and N. 16th Street.

Later phases will include a 150,000-square-foot building, which will house classrooms, offices and more labs.

Opus North is a major builder at Marquette. The company is also currently constructing the new Marquette University Law School, set to open during the summer of 2010, and the Joseph and Vera Zilber Hall, a 128,000-square-foot student services and administration buildings, poised to open in November.

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