Marquette University Law School Milwaukee, WI

Home to Milwaukee’s only law school, Marquette University decided its current facility no longer suited today’s students. Opus Development Company, LLC called upon raSmith to help make this vision a state-of-the-art reality for the higher education institution. The project consisted of the new school building, underground parking and a large surface parking lot.

While engineering the site design, raSmith’s team encountered some unique challenges, such as the design needed to incorporate the property’s other buildings and guard house. While a significant amount of grade change was apparent, considerable existing public infrastructure was unknown. For instance, a steam pipe was unearthed during construction. Instead of letting this discovery derail the project, our engineers devised a quick solution. The university also asked that a certain row of trees remain on the property and, to meet this request, raSmith designed a large retaining wall accommodating the trees.

To make space for the new law school’s large parking lot, O’Hara Hall—a 140-year-old outdated structure—had to be demolished. Two small parking lots were also transformed into the new large lot. Landscape architecture, similar to that of other areas on campus, added a finishing touch to the $85-million Eckstein Hall that is now a pillar of not just Marquette University but also of the civic community.

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