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Our Work › K12 Education › Oak Creek High School-Performing Arts & Education Center

K12 Education

Oak Creek High School-Performing Arts & Education Center

Oak Creek, WI

The Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District sought to update aging high school facilities and to provide a dedicated performing arts center for student and community use, providing new opportunities for students interested in the performing arts. PRA, in partnership with Nexus Solutions, assisted in a district wide study and successful referendum. The resulting projects include the construction of a new Performing Arts & Education Center (PAEC) and new dedicated space for career and technical education addition (CTE – Auto’s, Manufacturing, Wood and Construction), and miscellaneous interior renovations.

The new Performing Arts & Education Center replaces the existing theater, which was located within the gym. The new theater is a state-of-the-art 1,000 seat theater providing cutting edge spaces to increase opportunities for students in the performing arts. This venue is one of the largest high school theaters in the state. Choir room, band room, and supporting spaces are renovated in support of the enhanced program.

The building is designed to showcase the curriculum and support complementary career paths: The scene shop is located near the construction lab enabling collaboration across classes. The green room is uniquely designed in uni-sex fashion to increase functional space and reduce inefficiencies. Nearby classrooms support pre / post function for entertainers using the stage.

The automotive technology program now includes five bays, arranged in a new motor court.

Our Work › Corporate › MRA – The Management Association


MRA – The Management Association

MRA and PRA joined forces to convert an existing office building into a dynamic new headquarters for their employees and a state-of-the-art training center for their members. Combining elements of hospitality design with cutting-edge office planning, both spaces offer occupants access to a variety of spaces to work throughout the day, from traditional conference rooms and low walled open workstations, to focus rooms, dividable training rooms, breakout lounges, and engaging cafe areas. The visitor experience is paramount, with directional and branded monitors throughout, two fireplaces to warm the heart and color-coded training room entrances to help them find their way. The message is clear: the design of MRA’s new Milwaukee home is a reflection of the quality services they provide.

Our Work › K12 Education › McKinley Elementary School

K12 Education

McKinley Elementary School

Wauwatosa, WI

In 2018, following a successful $124.9 million referendum, the Wauwatosa School District embarked upon a program of facility modernization and replacement affecting fourteen schools.

McKinley Elementary School is a 77,600sf replacement school serving 4k-5 grades. This school is built from a common ‘kit of parts’ developed for use on all of the projects, causing initial concern within the neighborhood. Listening sessions allowed the local community to offer ideas used to develop a unique character for the school, such as placing the building to provide green space easily accessible by neighboring homes, using durable exterior materials and design detailing to link the building to local historical architecture, and the use of internal materials and amenities salvaged from the prior school and displayed in a number of unique ways. The new McKinley Elementary is the result of community input, providing modern learning spaces in a way that links children and families across generations.

McKinley Elementary was awarded the Award of Excellence from IIDA Wisconsin Chapter. This project was also featured my OnMilwaukee as part of their Urban Spelunking articles.

Our Work › K12 Education › Lincoln Elementary School

K12 Education

Lincoln Elementary School

Wauwatosa, WI

Lincoln Elementary School is a neighborhood school on a small, urban site in the Wauwatosa School District which recently received a fully renovated interior and large additions as part of a referendum. The project expanded the school into a three-section 4k-5 elementary school and modernized the building for innovative learning opportunities, while maintaining the charm of the original school built in 1919. The entire site was re-designed to provide safe outdoor spaces for students and the community, including a unique outdoor classroom that enhances the educational opportunities.

Multiple community engagement sessions were held during planning stages to build neighborhood consensus about respecting history and representing the ideals of its community. The school exterior evokes historic design with materials and proportion, while also incorporating modern design elements such as expansive glazing. The 1919 charm is maintained and celebrated through carefully exposed structures that showcase the rich history of prior craftsmanship involved 100 years ago.

By engaging with community members frequently through planning stages, strong consensus was gained for an overall design that incorporates the needs of future users. The form and position on the site were a direct result of input received. The design features central circulation to show views of the neighborhood. The playground was designed to protect children from busy roads and to connect to the neighborhood, which is a key feature of the school. The school and site are rooted in the fabric of the neighborhood and have been designed to extend its reach beyond the school day.

Material palette selections feature a blended contrast of modern and historic influences. Existing brown brick is accented with fiber cement and industrial-look metal panel. Classrooms have a neutral palette, allowing teachers and students to add color of their own. Each room is equipped with operable partitions, encouraging collaboration between classes. Breakout spaces flooded with natural light are located near every classroom grade level, emphasized with school branding colors, tackable surfaces, and digital displays for interactive learning.

Working to keep the bones of the 1919 building intact, the design carefully exposes existing structure where possible to showcase the age and rich history of the school. One area features salvaged doors that are used to create an inspiration wall upon entering the school. Another detail is in the library, where a child-sized learning stair is created using the stair railing from the existing building. To acknowledge the next 100 years of this school’s lifespan, a metal beam was signed by current students and staff before installation and was placed in the cafeteria for the future community to experience.

Learning does not stop at the walls of the building. An outdoor classroom provides educational opportunities focused on sustainability, including solatubes for sun monitoring, a green roof, a visible gutter system for rain collection, a climbing plant trellis, planting beds with root windows, and a rain garden. The outdoor learning pavilion is designed around environmental choices and teaching the community.

Lincoln Elementary School was designed to empower the littlest learners and to create a better, more flexible future for the students and community of Wauwatosa. Built on the foundation of 100 years, it is now capable to endure the next 100.

Our Work › Higher Education › Milwaukee Area Technical College

Higher Education

Milwaukee Area Technical College

The MATC Facilities and Administrative Leadership Teams were at a turning point. While Administration was embarking on their Pathways initiative to help students discover the educational path that most interests them, the Facilities Team recognized the need to standardize and unify the aesthetic qualities of common-use interior spaces, and common materials for exterior aesthetics. PRA and MATC worked together as the project evolved to include defining new design aesthetics that would embellish the MATC brand and make it more recognizable. This began the Master Planning process.   

PRA collaborated with MATC to administer and evaluate student and staff surveys to understand what worked, what didn’t, and what was desired. Together we published the MATC Design Guidelines that are applicable to the Common Spaces and exteriors of 1.93 million SF, 19 buildings, 30,000 students (annually), and over 900 instructors. 

As part of our efforts, we developed Interior Common Areas, which consist of Crossing Nodes, Information Nodes, Study Nodes, and Elevator Lobbies out of existing corridors. Given the diversity of architecture across the campuses, we also found common elements to establish brand consistency for the exterior aesthetics. The Campus Gateway and Campus/Building Identification signage enhances the entrance, makes it more evident, and ties it all together with streetscaping.  

Following the issuance, MATC again engaged PRA to execute the Design Guidelines for the contiguous 2nd levels of the M, C, & T Buildings, as well as the connecting skywalks, at the MATC Downtown Campus. 

Our Work › Senior Living › HarborChase of Evergreen Walk

Senior Living

HarborChase of Evergreen Walk

South Windsor, CT

HarborChase of Evergreen Walk is a new, 113,000 sq. ft. assisted living and memory care facility in South Windsor, Connecticut. PRA provided architectural and interior design services for the 65 assisted living units and the 48 memory care units, along with the numerous common space amenities. The facility provides a variety of dining options including a bistro, a formal dining room, a private dining room with an exhibition kitchen and pizza oven, and a bar and lounge. Other amenities include a grand two story lobby, a wellness center, a beauty salon and numerous other activity areas. The two story memory care wing contains its own dining room and activity space on each level. A large clerestory and skylights provide ample daylight into the common spaces. Memory care residents also have access to an enclosed courtyard which provides safe and secure access to the outdoors.

The interior design of HarborChase of Evergreen Walk marries traditional and contemporary furniture, fixtures, and finishes to create a hospitality-like atmosphere. Neutral tones ground the design, while colorful accents and patterns provide interest and a warm, comfortable environment for residents.

Our Work › Residential › Lemon Bay Apartments of Englewood


Lemon Bay Apartments of Englewood

Englewood, FL

The Lemon Bay Apartments is a 68-unit, multi-family residential community in Englewood, Florida that is comprised of four, two-story buildings stretching across six wooded acres. The apartment homes consist of one- and two-bedroom floor plans and are reminiscent of coastal architecture with bright palettes, nautical detailing, deep overhangs and metal roofs. Affording breathtaking views of the protected wetlands and mature pine flatwoods, the apartment homes provide residents with individual entries directly to the outdoors and enclosed private lanais. Additional site amenities include walking paths, resident carports, business office, fitness center, outdoor kitchen with picnic pavilion, sun deck and community pool.

Our Work › Corporate › Educators Credit Union


Educators Credit Union

Mukwonago, WI

The design concept for the new branch for Educators Credit Union in Mukwonago is the result of an extensive design process that included many stakeholders. The design reflects Educators Credit Union’s trademark red color, flower logo and the brick used in its previous buildings. The design also was driven by the integration of new video remote teller and providing a setting for Educators’ trademark hospitality.

To meet these goals, the plan of the building is divided into two parts. The first part of the bank is the central member space which includes the main transaction area and a hospitality space for members to utilize. The member space is surrounded by the second part of the plan, the support spaces, including offices, a conference room, toilets, and mechanical rooms. The result is a soaring light filled member space which is also divided into two areas. The first contains a greeter’s podium with glass faced staff offices behind it. The interactive teller machines are located at the back wall forming a focal point in the bank. The teller machine spaces are designed to protect individual privacy. These semi-enclosed booths allow members to complete transactions via video. Built-in trash and purse shelves provide for convenience. Separating the transaction area is a curved screen wall. The wall incorporates an informal meeting area, coin machine, an interactive flat screen and a counter for hospitality components. On the opposite side of the screen is an area dedicated to hospitality. Comfortable seating focused on a fireplace featuring Educators red brick and artwork featuring a map of Mukwonago provides a relaxing place to wait and linger near a private conference room.

The work completed at Educator’s Credit Union in Mukwonago was awarded ASID Bronze for Design Excellence for Corporate/Office projects by the ASID Wisconsin Chapter, and achieved 2nd place/Award Excellence for corporate projects under 5,000 SF by the IIDA Wisconsin Chapter.

Our Work › Healthcare › Milo C. Huempfner Outpatient Clinic – Green Bay VA


Milo C. Huempfner Outpatient Clinic – Green Bay VA

Green Bay, WI

PRA provided architectural design services for the new 211,000 SF Milo C. Huempfner Outpatient Clinic for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Green Bay, WI. The project was delivered using a design-build team approach with Summit Smith Development and CD Smith Construction. The site features a two-story design with Primary Care Clinics utilizing a Medical Home Model, featuring Specialty, Women’s Health, Mental Health clinics as well as Surgery, Radiology, Pharmacy, Rehabilitation, Prosthetics, Dental and Dialysis, utilizing the most current VA design standards.

Additionally, since this project serves veterans who may have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the entire project is designed with sensitivity to their needs. This can be seen with the stairways that offer an unobstructed view of the patient’s surroundings, as well as a non-institutional, patient centered design with warm interior finishes intended to encourage healing, safety, and a sense of being valued.

Our Work › Healthcare › Northwestern Medicine- Kishwaukee Wellness Center & Clinic


Northwestern Medicine- Kishwaukee Wellness Center & Clinic

DeKalb, IL

Following a nationwide search, Kishwaukee Hospital selected PRA to design a medically integrated Health & Wellness center. The project continued following the acquisition of Kishwaukee Hospital by Northwestern Medicine (NM).

This health and wellness center was created to provide a unique and personalized health experience for residents of Dekalb and Sycamore, IL, by combining clinic and fitness operations under one roof. Other major program elements include a 175-seat auditorium and a public Café’.

The clinic includes exam, x-ray, and conference rooms to serve Orthopedics, Internal Medicine, and Population Health departments. In addition, space is provided for a future PT / OT clinic.

The wellness center provides group exercise studios, indoor walking and jogging tracks, strength and cardio equipment, cycling studio, yoga studio, 25-yard lap-pool, warm-water therapy pool and a full-court gymnasium. Other amenities include full-service locker rooms, showers, whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms, and a childcare area.

The building takes advantage of the sloping site to provide a single story entry – reducing the scale of such a large facility. Main social spaces located on the top floor make use of generous, elevated decks (sized to host events) and help sub-divide the scale of the two-story portion. Vertical and horizontal sunshade devices, cladding variety, and window articulation help to reduce scale.

The 16-acre site features extensive landscaping, water features, a fountain, fitness grove, sensory garden, and walking paths that incorporate outdoor exercise stations. The site is open to the community, and the entire project helps to encourage continued pursuit of life-long health.