Kern Center – Milwaukee School of Engineering Wins Innovative Design Award

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Contact: Jack Patton, AIA
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Kern Center – Milwaukee School of Engineering
Wins Innovative Design Award

Recreation Management Magazine recently selected the Kern Center at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, Milwaukee, Wisconsin to receive their distinguished Innovative Architecture and Design Award. The Kern Center is featured in the May/June 2005 issue along with the other award winners. This award program was juried by panel of 6 judges within the engineering and design profession. It recognizes architects, consultants and facility owners / managers for their efforts in planning, financing, designing and operating recreation and wellness facilities that set high standards for design and functionality. The Kern Center is a shining example of this standard.
The Sports Studio at RDG Planning & Design was the Design Architect for this 210,000 GSF facility. RDG was challenged to create a contextual, signature icon for MSOE that integrates cutting edge technology, total personal wellness, and dynamic user appropriate imagery. The new facility houses a 1,200-seat spectator arena, 1,600-seat hockey arena / practice facility, 3-court multipurpose fieldhouse, 6,000 SF of fitness and weights, 4,000 SF wrestling room, 160-meter elevated running track, and numerous other amenities and support space. RDG worked closely with Uihlein-Wilson Architects of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who was the Architect-of-Record.
Replacing the current make-shift gymnasium building (rental space near campus), and almost totally eliminating the need to rent off-site facilities for athletics, the Kern Center provides a unified home to bring the School’s 19 athletic programs into one facility. The Kern Center is a place for everyone though – not just athletes. It is used for NCAA Division III athletics, intramural and club sports (floor hockey, Tae Kwon Do) and individual workouts. It has become home to MSOE counselors, wellness workshops (study skills, career and time management), Health Center (inoculations), Campus Ministry programs, student activities, exercise programs (Tai Chi, yoga, dance, self-defense) and the Servant-Leadership office. The center exemplifies MSOE’s philosophy of a well-rounded university experience and is an important asset in attracting prospective students and providing current students with ample access to fitness. “I think a lot of what the facility does is to become a landmark for the campus and this part of downtown Milwaukee,” states Raimund Stelter, Kern Center facility coordinator.
RDG Planning & Design has been involved with significant higher education sports and recreation facilities across the state. RDG designed the new Football Practice Facility at Iowa State University, the Knapp Center at Drake University, the Ron Schipper Fitness Center at Central College, Valley Stadium, Wartburg College Football/Track Stadium. RDG is currently designing improvements to Iowa State University Hilton Coliseum, and the Outdoor Track and Stadium at Drake University, while also designing the new Student Recreation Center at the University of Iowa. Nationally, RDG has been involved with the following spectator facilities: University of Texas at Dallas Arena, Wheaton College King Arena, Dover Civic Arena, Mankato Civic Arena, University of Florida Baseball Stadium and Tennis facility, University of Minnesota Duluth Stadium, Hastings College Stadium, University of Franklin & Marshall Olympic Aquatics Center, and is serving as the Interior Architect for the Iowa Events Center.

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