MSOE unveils $37 million Viets Tower renovation

The Milwaukee School of Engineering celebrated the grand opening of its newly renovated Hermann Viets Tower in downtown Milwaukee Friday.

The building, located at 1121 N. Milwaukee St., which was formerly Roy W. Johnson Residence Hall, underwent a $37 million renovation to become the college’s first “living-learning community.” The project was funded by philanthropic support.

Johnson Residence Hall, which was dedicated in 1965, was the oldest and largest dorm on MSOE’s campus and deemed the highest-priority among MSOE’s three residence halls for a revamp.

The project increased the hall’s housing capacity from 450 beds to 552 beds, added 48 new bedrooms and installed new bathrooms on each floor. Other new features include six ADA rooms, a single ADA bathroom on each floor, and new air conditioning units in each bedroom.

The project also added a southern-facing, glass-enclosed addition housing “collaboration hubs” for student residents. The living-learning community model is designed to help extend student learning beyond the classroom and into the residence hall, MSOE said.

The hall also now includes two classrooms, fabrication workspaces, an entrepreneurial space, study spaces, a snack and beverage store and work café. Milwaukee-based Ramlow/Stein Architecture + Interiors was the project architect.

The building was renamed in honor of Hermann Viets, MSOE’s former president. Viets, who led the college for about 25 years, died in October 2017.

Hermann Viets Tower is located next to MSOE’s 64,000-square-foot Dwight and Dian Diercks Computational Science Hall, which opened in 2019.

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