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Watchdog for sustainability

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Lee Voskuil, Jos. Schmitt & Sons Const. Co. Inc.

Lee Voskuil (Photo by Corey Hengen)

From drilling a well to overseeing an art installation, Lee Voskuil, project superintendent, was involved in all aspects of construction at the Concordia University Center for Environmental Stewardship in Mequon.

The $4 million, 13,365-square-foot project is seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design platinum certification, so Voskuil’s attention to detail and hands-on approach was important, said Ken Gaschk, vice president of enrollment services at Concordia.

“From recycling goals to waste management goals, even monitoring smoking on site and things like using adhesives that were low (volatile organic compounds), every element of sustainability was followed,” he said. “Lee really did a great job of keeping track. He was the watchdog. He was the policeman for all that.”

Voskuil, of Jos. Schmitt & Sons Const. Co. Inc., Sheboygan, helped set recycling standards for the project. And when the university decided to switch from a high-performance HVAC system to a geothermal unit after construction began in August 2009, Voskuil adapted to the change and kept things moving, Gaschk said. The project superintendent was right there, knee deep in mud, when the geothermal well was drilled, he said.

“He’s a service guy,” Gaschk said.

Voskuil even made sure everything was in place for an innovative art installation that became the centerpiece of the new building, he said. When an existing building was torn down to create lake access on Concordia’s property and save acres of eroding shoreline, Voskuil made sure two-by-fours and two-by-sixes were preserved from the old building for use in the installation.

The wood trusses were then used to create a decorative ceiling and 3-D display of the Great Lakes.

Voskuil made it his personal mission to oversee what became the signature artwork for the new CCES building, said Pete Schneider, an architect with Groth Design Group Inc., Cedarburg, who dealt with construction administration and LEED certification on the project.

“Lee kind of took that on as his own project,” he said. “He didn’t design it, but he made sure it was executed.”

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