By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Apr 20, 2015 at 2:06 PM

The Friends of Lakeshore State Park board of directors invite the public to attend an open house on Tuesday, April 21 from 4 until 7 p.m. in the Miller Room at O'Donnell Park, located at 910 E. Michigan St., for the public introduction of a design study by The Kubala Washatko Architects for a new visitor and education center on Lakeshore State Park. The open house provides an opportunity to view the design features, discuss the project and plan for the future. 

The proposed visitor and education center in Lakeshore State Park, positioned between Downtown Milwaukee and Lake Michigan, is designed to be the gateway to the state parks system, as well as a hub for education and social activities with an emphasis on appreciating natural resources, experiencing nature and learning about environmental stewardship.

The new facilities will:

  • Meet transient boater needs with 24-hour secure access to restrooms and shower facilities
  • Meet general visitor needs for access to public restrooms that are currently unavailable on the park grounds
  • Provide indoor multi-purpose space for education and other meeting activities
  • Provide an outdoor plaza, featuring a double-sided fireplace for large and small events
  • Showcase the building and plaza as sustainable demonstrations of the Living Building Challenge, an international building certification program developed by the International Living Future Institute with more rigorous and wide-ranging than similar green certification programs like LEED. The Challenge comes with seven performance categories – place, water, energy, health and happiness, materials, equity and beauty – called Petals.

Key project goals for the Lakeshore State Park Visitor and Education Center include "Net Positive" energy and water use, engineered wetland and on-site rainwater harvesting, rigorous adherence to "Red-List" approved and locally-sourced construction materials and other innovative requirements – such as the integration of "urban agriculture" into the site.