NWTC Welcome Center
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
The first project developed from the Master Plan that Somerville and NWTC created together was the new Welcome Center and Technology Hall. The Welcome Center included a three-story open staircase entrance, eight fully equipped laboratory rooms, computer and study rooms, a lecture hall and library, a dining room, student services office, digital lounge, and bookstore. The new building also houses a variety of collaborative areas. “People pockets” of varying sizes and degrees of privacy were added, providing students with an assortment of spaces to study and gather. These spaces are vital in NWTC’s model of combining student spaces with learning environments, and encouraging faculty and students to truly collaborate. Technology Hall is designed to be a centralized lab facility and provide the delivery of interdisciplinary programs with dedicated state-of-the-art equipment and learning opportunities. The Hall offers learning in a modular instructor assisted format.
- A new “front door” so visitors would know where to go when first arriving on campus.
- New look and branding for the College by incorporating design elements such as brick, metal panel and curtain wall.
- The new atrium at the main entry required appropriate HVAC exhaust hoods which we strategically placed at locations on the roof that would be blocked from the line of sight by the roof parapet.
- A new link between the new and existing buildings on campus while maintaining access to the interior courtyard for deliveries to Tech Ed shops and shipping/receiving. The Welcome Center was linked with Technology Hall via an overhead walkway with the required height clearance for delivery truck traffic.
- Linking the new welcome center with the existing campus from an MEP standpoint was done through the creation of an underground utility tunnel which was constructed to withstand the high water table in the area.
- Site Conditions were a challenge. Poor soil conditions were encountered in the area of the addition, much of which had to be removed and replaced with structural fill, During excavation and construction, water levels were monitored and excess water was pumped out. The existing grades where the new addition was created sloped toward the building so our team addressed the drainage around the building by adding water drainage collection points.