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Waukesha City hall : a new home for the ‘public’s business’

By: Mark Hembree//May 11, 2022//

Waukesha City hall : a new home for the ‘public’s business’

By: Mark Hembree//May 11, 2022//

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Waukesha’s new city hall, the third at the site since the start of the 20th century, is an up-to-date, 55,000 square-foot building at East North Avenue and Delafield Street in downtown Waukesha.

Beginning in September 2019, the project’s first construction phase included the new building and a skywalk connection. Plans for Phase Two called for razing the existing city hall, building a new parking lot and final landscaping work.

Standing at the crest of a 30-foot hill with busy downtown streets to the south and northwest, the project required ingenious engineering to ensure heavy machinery and materials could be brought to the site. Daniel Grams, Greenfire project manager, said, “The site orientation all together, the way that the building was situated, proved to be challenging. Sitting 20 or 30 feet higher than the parking lot just next door, only 12 feet away from the existing building, and we had to make sure all the employees of city hall could continue working.”

The project features a three-story glass curtain around an open atrium, a fourth-story mechanical penthouse containing critical building systems, and a 55-ton, 183.5-foot-long steel skywalk connecting the first-floor commons to a parking garage across North Avenue. This massive undertaking was months in the planning. The skywalk was set in two picks, requiring municipal cooperation for road closures.

“That was two days,” said Grams. “When they lifted those all the way into the air, they needed two cranes per piece. And when they set them down, they fit perfectly, fortunately for us.”

The building itself is composed of a large variety of materials.

“The first story was all very dark, almost black granite,” Grams said. “We had three different colorations of limestone for the rest of the building. The masonry contractor said it was one of the most significant masonry jobs in the state. Few projects utilize such massive stone.”

Grams is happy with the finished product. “The most rewarding aspect of the project was seeing it in its final condition,” he said, “an impressively large building situated on the top of the hill overseeing the city.”

Waukesha City Hall

Location: Waukesha

Cost: $19,693,300

Start: September 2019

Completion: January 2021

Owner/Developer: City of Waukesha

Architect: BWBR

Construction Manager: Greenfire Management Services

Submitting Company: Greenfire Management Services

Subcontractors: Adair Commercial Flooring, Alpine Plumbing, Applewood Drywall Service, Baycom, Bevara Building Services, Blair Fire Protection, Block Iron & Supply, Bob Anderson Builders, Building Service, Carpet Service International, Cathedral Builders, CC&N, Central Ceiling Systems, Chicago Scaffolding, D&L Grading, Dero, DJG Sales, Eder Flag Manufacturing, Elite Storage Products, Endres Manufacturing, Floorcare USA, Giles Engineering Associates, Grand Appliance and TV, Guetzke & Associates, HIS Comp, Insolar Window Treatments, LaBrant & Associates, Lighthouse Safety, Marriott Construction, Milwaukee Plate Glass, Muza Sheet Metal, Northstar Equipment, Northway Fence, Paul Reilly, Payne & Dolan, Pierce Engineers, Poblocki Sign, R.A. Smith National, Red Cedar Steel Erectors, Regency Janitorial Service, Ring & Duchateau, Sanchez Painting Contractors, Schindler Elevator, Sid’s Sealants, Siemens, SiteGuard Safety Services, SKC Communications, Southport Engineered Systems, Southport Heating Plumbing Geothermal, Spray Insulations, The MRD Group, UPI, Villani Landshapers, Zander Solutions

Photo Credit: brandon | brown


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