Marquette revises plans, location for athletic performance research center

Will continue looking at options for 10-acre 6th and Michigan site

Street View Rendering of APRC

Last updated on May 20th, 2022 at 11:09 am

Marquette University announced Monday that it has revised its plans for its athletic performance research center, moving the planned facility from a 10-acre site in downtown Milwaukee to a smaller site across North 12th Street from the Al McGuire Center.

The research center will be located on what is now a parking lot (call Lot F) at the southwest corner of West Wells and North 12th streets. The University’s Board of Trustees, on Dec. 8, approved the groundbreaking for the first phase of construction.

In January, Marquette announced Aurora Health Care would provide $40 million toward a 250,000- to 300,000-square-foot, $120 million athletic performance research center at 6th Street, 10th Street, West Michigan Street and the Marquette Interchange.

But the new plans call for a smaller building on the site near the Al McGuire Center. Phase one is estimated to be 50,000 square feet and cost $24 million, with long-term plans for three additional phases.

“This new location is smarter and more convenient for our student-athletes, faculty and staff that will be housed in the APRC,” Marquette president Michael Lovell said in a written statement. “While the location has changed, our vision to advance our mission through innovative sports and human performance research remains unchanged.”

The move comes after extensive analysis, which concluded that Marquette’s new seasonal sports dome in the Menomonee Valley fills the need for covered field space and is a more cost-efficient alternative to the large, permanent field house envisioned in the original APRC project.

Rendering of Marquette’s original plans for an athletic performance research center at 6th Street, 10th Street, West Michigan Street and the Marquette Interchange.

Marquette and Aurora Health Care continue to be in discussions about concepts within the new facility, which will be located a block south of the Aurora Research Institute and Aurora Sinai Medical Center.

Marquette would not say how much money it has raised for the facility, or what Aurora is currently committing to the project.

“The (funding) model has always been a combination of private and corporate fund-raising,” said university spokesman Brian Dorrington. “This is a new concept for us that we are excited about. The funding model will be similar. We continue to have really productive conversations with Aurora. It is too premature to say anything more.”

The first phase of the project will include space for faculty researchers who work in a wide variety of fields to move into the facility. It will also include locker rooms and support space for the lacrosse programs and golf team.

The facility will also house additional strength and conditioning spaces for the athletic department and a centralized core of laboratories for conducting human performance research.

“This is a really huge step forward for our student athletes and our coaches,” said Bill Scholl, Marquette’s athletic director. “The strength and conditioning space will help all of our student athletes and the research piece is really exciting for us. This is a great opportunity to differentiate ourselves.”

Marquette constructed its seasonal dome in January 2017, which now serves thousands of students, including NCAA student-athletes, as well as club and intramural sports.

Marquette will continue to evaluate the best use for the land that had previously been considered for the athletic performance research center project, said Lora Strigens, vice president for planning and strategy.

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