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Shovels hit ground for new Museum of Wisconsin Art

Ground was broken this week for the new Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend. The museum's new building will be constructed on a 1.5-acre site at 205 Veterans Ave. in West Bend. (Rendering courtesy of the Museum of Wisconsin Art)

By Keith Barber

Museum of Wisconsin Art (New Construction)

After several years of planning and fundraising, groundbreaking for the new Museum of Wisconsin Art took place this week.

The green-roof building of modern design was developed by architects from Hammel Green & Abrahamson Inc., Milwaukee, and is being constructed by M.A. Mortenson Co.’s Brookfield office. The 30,700-square-foot, two-story building is being constructed on a 1.5-acre site at 205 Veterans Ave. in West Bend.

The building was designed as an energy-efficient structure, and features high-efficiency glass, radiant heat flooring and rain gardens. The modern design shows a glass curtain wall along the first floor west facade, a two-story windowed lobby at the south entrance and a glass-enclosed stairwell atrium on the building’s north end.

The exterior is clad in special cement panels of four shades of white. The shape is a sliver-design, very sleek and narrow. Really, the building is an outstanding example for public architecture, and is sure to achieve landmark status.

Construction is estimated at about $9.2 million, and will take nine months to build. When finished, the new museum will create 2-1/2 times more exhibition space than the current 19,000-square-foot art museum.

The old museum on Sixth Street will be sold once new construction is complete.

The museum will exclusively feature works from Wisconsin artists.

Keith Barber is a data reporter at The Daily Reporter. He can be reached at 414-225-1821.

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