College of Engineering breaks ground on new facility

The College of Engineering broke ground on the Discovery Learning Complex Friday morning.

Students, faculty, alumni and donors gathered Friday morning to break ground on a new facility for the College of Engineering.

The 250,000 square foot Discovery Learning Complex, to be built on the southwest corner of 16th Street and Wisconsin Avenue, is expected to open in August 2011.  Initial construction will begin on a $35 million, 115,000 square foot building.

College of Engineering Dean Stan Jaskolski lauded the planned complex as a “game-changing facility” and a “gigantic step forward for Marquette University.”

The university has secured $70 million of the facility’s total $100 million cost through fundraisers, donations and grants. Jaskolski said $31 million has also been raised for engineering scholarships that will help attract students to the college and its new building.

Jaskolski and University President the Rev. Robert A. Wild spoke of a nationwide need for engineering students. Both said the innovative facility is designed to not only help students learn theory, but also to help them integrate engineering basics in developing real-life solutions and products.

Cara Brigman, a sophomore in the College of Engineering who spoke at the groundbreaking, said the hands-on approach and “unbelievable potential” of the complex will help transform students into career-ready engineers who can make a difference.

For more on the College of Engineering’s new building, see Tuesday’s Tribune.