Alverno College announces $30 million expansion

MILWAUKEE (WITI) – Alverno College announced it will break ground on a $30
million expansion and renovation in March of 2014, the most significant enhancement in the college’s 126-year history.

The plans include a new classroom building, improvements to the JoAnn McGrath School of Nursing and the creation of a new, larger student commons to enhance the student experience.

“Our current campus was built in 1952, and as enrollment climbs and the needs of our students change, we must evolve to meet those needs,” said Mary J. Meehan, Ph.D., president of Alverno College. “This expansion will ensure that future generations of Alverno students have the classrooms, gathering spaces and advanced learning technologies they need to develop their abilities to the fullest.”

Construction will begin in 2014, with a groundbreaking ceremony on March 18, and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015.

“We’ve grown into one of the largest women’s colleges in the country and employers look to Alverno to develop the female leaders of tomorrow,” said Mary Beth Berkes, chair of the Alverno College Board of Trustees. “For this reason and more, our facilities need to be as innovative as our curriculum.”

In order to finance the improvements, a fundraising campaign began in 2011. Led by Paul Purcell, CEO of Robert W. Baird, Don Layden, Partner, Quarles &Brady LLC, and Ellen Gardner, ’69, retired President of Ameritech-Wisconsin, the campaign has raised $27 million of the $30 million needed to complete the project.

The balance will be raised through contributions from Alverno alumni and supporters.

“All of us have seen first-hand the unique impact that Alverno has on the careers, lives and communities of its students, and we believe deeply in Alverno and its future,” said Purcell. “That’s why this is so important for the college and the city of Milwaukee.”

The expansion and improvements will focus on the following areas:

    All of the improvements will include energy-efficient lighting; flooring, furnishings and fixtures with a low environmental impact; and energy-efficient heating and air conditioning wherever possible.

    The expanded commons area will also feature a green roof that will absorb rainfall, reduce reflected heat and be the most visible of several efforts to help the environment and reduce energy costs.

    The public can follow the progress of the construction at

    The site will include the latest news, a project overview and timeline, photos, videos, regular updates and frequently asked questions.