It was a busy July for Greenfire! We started the renovation of the last remaining historic building on the Wgema Campus. We had three projects named to a construction list. We hosted local rescue and response teams at a jobsite. And we also took some time to relax and watch the Brew Crew!
Urban spelunking: Gym reno & last look at the pool at Wgema (Concordia) Campus
For the past 11 years, the Forest County Potawatomi has been renovating its Wgema Campus – formerly Concordia College’s campus – on Milwaukee’s West Side, and now the last buildings on the site are getting attention. Read Bobby’s full article here.
July 2022 Project Spotlight | Tthigwe Renovation
The Wgema [wguh-mah] (chief) Campus which was formerly home to Concordia College is continuing to strategically redevelop to improve the neighborhood. The Tthigwe [jee-gweh] (thunderbird) gymnasium building, originally built in 1930, began its historic renovation in June 2022, nearly 12 years after the first redevelopment phase of the campus.
The Forest County Potawatomi (FCP) acquired the campus and established a trust in 1986, three years after Concordia College relocated. Woodlands East, the on-campus independent charter school, and the Milwaukee Bucks are among organizations that used the gym for team practices and other physical activity. The north section of the building, built in 1955, originally housed a pool but was eventually filled in to fulfill storage and event space needs.
Exterior restoration work includes tuckpointing alongside the east, south, and west facades of the building as well as selective demolition and abatement. The team is replacing old windows and installing new, historically matching windows. The north façade will be reconstructed and include an entrance vestibule. The pool house will be razed, and the building’s concrete will be crushed and recycled as infill. The project also includes new landscaping along with installation of new stormwater utilities, an extension of the parking lot, lighting, and permeable pavers.
Interior work includes upgrades to all mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems along with installation of a new fire protection and alarm system. Additionally, new lighting will be installed throughout the building along with new interior finishes and all existing bathrooms will be upgraded to meet ADA compliance requirements. In the gymnasium, the floors will be sanded and refinished and receive new striping along with installation of new basketball hoops. The bleachers themselves are in good condition but will receive cosmetic upgrades.
As with any historic renovation, it’s difficult to know what to expect in the existing building. This project is no exception, and the team will work through the conditions of the MEP systems as the project progresses. The team is also working with the National Parks Service to ensure proper historic renovation procedures and standards are followed. Meanwhile, the construction team navigates the complexities of working in an active campus and coordinating multiple contractors . Working together, the team created a site logistics plan to account for personnel safety, material procurement and heavy machinery operation.
We are proud to take an active role in this historic redevelopment within the Wgema campus. We would like to recognize the hard work and dedication of our project team including Alex Siehoff, Project Manager, Jordan Guth, Project Engineer, and Connor Wierschem, Assistant Superintendent. We would like to thank FCP and Potawatomi Business Development Corporation for selecting Greenfire as their construction manager and Quorum Architects as the project architect.
Greenfire Company Summer Picnic
The Greenfire Crew was hanging with the Milwaukee Brewers Brew Crew this month at our Annual Summer Picnic. We had a great view from the Johnsonville Party Deck with plenty of room to enjoy the game and eat plenty of food! The annual picnic is a great way for all of our team members to gather with their families and friends and catch up with the rest of the Greenfire team.
There are not enough words to express the appreciation for all of the hard work and dedication shown by our team on a daily basis. The strong relationships and teamwork we forge as a company are the foundation which we build on that enable us to achieve the success we enjoy.
Thank you to all of our team members and their families!
Largest Milwaukee-area Construction Projects
Several of Greenfire’s Milwaukee-area projects were recently named as the largest construction projects underway in the region. The list encompasses projects greater than $12 million in the seven county Milwaukee region. The Greenfire projects included in the list are: Community Within the Corridor, The Locklyn, and The Wheatley Redevelopment. We are proud to be a part of several projects highlighted on this featured list and would like to recognize each of our teams who have helped make them a success so far. To view the entire list, click here.
PROJECT: Community Within the Corridor
CONSTRUCTION COST: $66 million
EXPECTED ENDING MONTH / YEAR: December 2022
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Located along Milwaukee’s 30th Street Industrial Corridor, CWC is the historic renovation of a multi-building industrial complex into a mixed-use residential community. The 400,000 SF projects adapts the property into 197 multi-family units and features 70,000 SF of recreation and commercial spaces.
PROJECT TEAM: Daniel Grams, Project Manager; Josh Bruesewitz, Project Manager; Gene Widenski, Superintendent; Ryan Hermes, Project Engineer
PROJECT: The Locklyn
CONSTRUCTION COST: $30 million
EXPECTED ENDING MONTH / YEAR: February 2023
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: New construction of an apartment community on the former Olympia Resort property. Scope of work includes site development and infrastructure of the 17-acre site and construction of seven multi-family buildings totaling 178 units and a resident clubhouse with an inground pool.
PROJECT TEAM: Mike Smith, Senior Project Manager; Eric Anderson, Superintendent; Rob Norris, Project Engineer; Deepansh Agarwal, Construction Intern
PROJECT NAME: The Wheatley Redevelopment
CONSTRUCTION COST: $18 million
EXPECTED ENDING MONTH / YEAR: August 2022
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Historic renovation of a former MPS building, initially constructed in 1902 with subsequent additions in ’60, ‘65’ and ’72, into a mixed-use residential community. Scope also includes new construction of a four-story multi-family building directly adjacent to the school. The 82-unit redevelopment features an array of recreation and community commercial spaces.
PROJECT TEAM: Gage Christianson, Project Manager; Tommy Cummings, Superintendent; Austin Stueck, Project Engineer; Zach Barrow, Project Engineer
Greenfire Partnership with Local Rescue and Response Teams
The Zuelke Building is a prominent landmark in downtown Appleton, and with construction underway on all 12 floors, it’s a great opportunity for local rescue and first responders to train and develop their skills.
This month, the Greenfire project team hosted local fire fighters on-site for a tour. The walk-though gave the rescue team an opportunity to assess building layout, explore potential rescue options, view structural materials, and gain insight on all building systems. This was a great way for our team to seek their thoughts and feedback for ways of improvement as well. Our project team was more than happy to give the fire fighter crew an early view of the building prior to completion so the crew is best prepared in case of an emergency.
Earlier in the year, the local police and SWAT team reached out for a tour and similar training purposes. After the tour and building assessment, the team utilized all 12 floors to train for room clearing, active shooter, K-9 unit, as well as vantage point optics.
We recognize the importance of maintaining strong relationships with all local rescue and first responder teams and admire their sacrifice and courage. It’s an honor to be able to help train and develop their team coordination and skills and it is also a great way for our teams to expand our knowledge and capabilities. This is only one of many examples that Greenfire projects and associated teams assisted local rescue teams with training and operations – and we are happy to do so. Thank you to Craig Bailey, Superintendent, and Brett Christofferson, Project Manager, for going above and beyond their roles in order to support and assist.
The Spark | June 2022
Ribbon cuttings, truss raises, ground blessings and project site tours. Throw in a little happy hour networking for good measure, and June proved to be another eventful month. Also, The Common Place is going vertical – another mixed-use development we are excited to build.
Take a break from your endless scrolling to get the latest Greenfire updates here – the June 2022 edition of #TheSpark
June 2022 Project Spotlight | The Common Place
The Common Place is a new mixed-use development that includes 88 residential units, ground floor retail space and an indoor climbing gym located in the Village of Ashwaubenon, right in the shadows of Lambeau Field.
The five-story structure consists of a precast concrete podium at grade level that supports four stick framed levels above. The ground floor features an 8,125 SF indoor climbing gym complete with a 45’ tall top rope climbing wall, a bouldering wall, and fitness area that includes a workout space and yoga studio. The ground floor also houses a resident lobby, common spaces and two retail areas. Other amenities include a manicured residential courtyard with locally sourced materials, balconies for select units, surface lot parking, and one year climbing memberships for the first round of tenants.
The exterior of the building is comprised of an array of materials including red brick, metal panels, powdered coated steel elements with geometric accents and a full height glass curtainwall at the northeast corner showcasing the climbing gym. Glass storefronts line the western elevation for the retail areas.
The Common Place is the first of three planned phases for the site which required detailed preplanning from the team to account for site utilities, layout, and subsequent developments. A groundbreaking ceremony in September 2021 marked initial construction with foundations completed in February 2022. The team completed the concrete podium in March followed by installation of two stormwater retention systems at opposite ends of the site.
Currently, the exterior metal panels for the climbing gym are installed with the curtainwall glazing completing in July. The team is at the halfway point for metal stud framing on the ground floor with second floor stick framing beginning in late June. Framing for all five floors is slated to be complete in late August with rough MEP installation complete in fall. The building is expected to be watertight in September with interior build-out and finishes to follow. The project is slated to be complete by the end of the year.
A unique project brings about unique project conditions. Our project team is working directly with Walltopia, a climbing wall manufacturer out of Bulgaria, to produce, ship and install all climbing walls. Due to supply chain shortages and sourcing materials internationally, the team is working with the Village of Ashwaubenon to stage early procured items and equipment at an adjacent parking lot. This is all in an effort to mitigate risk and keep the project on track. In July when the climbing gym is watertight, the space will serve as the staging area in order to keep all materials out of the harsh northern Wisconsin elements.
Additionally, since the site is in close proximity to Lambeau Field and construction will occur during the Packers’ season, the project team is being proactive by working with the Village and the Green Bay Packers organization to account for road closure and construction coordination logistics during home games.
We recognize that a project’s success is the result of a solid team. And when factoring in all of the conditions that need to be lined up interdependently in order to maintain the schedule, it requires communication with the entire team. We are fortunate to have quality, hardworking and adaptable subcontractors on-site who believe in the vision of the project. Our team is also working directly with Odyssey Climbing to coordinate and facilitate the build-out of the climbing gym. And finally, the team continually works with the owner to seek, review, and evaluate VE options to keep the project within budget.
We would like to recognize our project team for their hard work and innovative planning and anticipation which has made this project a success so far. The team includes Brett Christofferson, Senior Project Manager, Tim Koch, Superintendent, and Brandon Lehrer, Project Engineer. We would also like to thank Merge Urban Development Group for selecting Greenfire as their trusted construction partner and the opportunity to continue our strong partnership.
Wausau Fun @ 5 at the Greenfire Northern Operations Office
The Northern Operations office hosted a Fun @ Five event which is part of a larger networking series that the Greater Wausau Chamber of Commerce puts on. The event drew members from the chamber of commerce and other local businesses who gathered outside the Greenfire office for light appetizers and a cocktail hour. Hosting the event was a great way for us to maintain our connections with the Wausau Chamber of Commerce and also establish new connections with key individuals and companies in the immediate area. We appreciate the Chamber working with us to put on this fantastic event and would like to thank all of those who attended.
The Locklyn Ribbon Cutting
New luxury housing has found its way into the City of Oconomowoc! Wangard Partners hosted a ribbon cutting and open house on June 7, to celebrate the Locklyn Apartments at Olympia Fields. The new multi-phased housing development is part of a larger mixed-use project that exemplifies the surrounding Lake Country area and natural landscape. Locklyn is a culmination many partners coming together that also includes City of Oconomowoc, Kahler Slater, raSmith and Associated Bank.
We are honored to serve as the CM on this transformative project and would like to thank Wangard for selecting Greenfire as their trusted building partner. The project team includes Mike Smith, Senior Project Manager, Eric Anderson, Superintendent, and Rob Norris, Project Engineer. We are proud of their determination and dedication and look forward to seeing continued success on site!
To learn more about the project, please click here.