By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Aug 28, 2017 at 3:05 PM

In January 2016, Marquette University announced it would build a new Athletic Performance Research Facility just east of the Marquette Interchange Downtown in collaboration with Aurora Health Care, with a potential groundbreaking this year.

According to a Marquette statement, the APRC, "will function as a central hub for research evolving in emerging fields, including exercise physiology, athletic training, biomedical engineering, and fields involving nutrition and rehabilitation."

The 12-acre site remains vacant, but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been progress. 

"If you’ve driven by campus lately, we have a number of projects from our master plan in the works, with our new residence hall (on 19th and Wells Streets) leading the charge and a new grocery store that just opened," said spokesman Christopher Stolarski.

"We are continuing to work on the project and mapping out our plans with Aurora."

In addition to the renderings released a year and a half ago, a few others, including some interior images, have emerged on the university’s web page for the project.

This past January, Marquette announced that Mortenson Co. has been tapped to build the roughly 300,000-square foot complex, which is expected to cost $120 million, a third of which will be funded by Aurora. The university is currently raising its share of the costs.

The project is being designed by four firms, including Milwaukee’s HGA, Denver’s Peter Park LLC, Boston’s Ellenzweig and the architect of record, Sink Combs Dethlefs, also based in Denver.

"This partnership is a true differentiator, bringing experts from health care, higher education and the highest level of sports together to take health science, innovation and research to the next level," said Nick Turkal, MD, CEO of Aurora Health Care as part of the initial announcement of the project.

"We are looking forward to providing unprecedented research and training opportunities at this world-class facility, which will help serve as a catalyst in further revitalizing Milwaukee’s Downtown region and be a driver for long-term positive change."

Initially, the university suggested that the center was timed to open concurrently with the new Bucks arena and training facility (created in partnership with Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin). But with that project slated to be complete by autumn of 2018, that timing would now seem unlikely.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.