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‘A learning tool:’ ‘Techterns’ from Bradley Tech help install seating in new Bucks’ arena

When the Milwaukee Bucks' $500 million arena opens this fall, it will be a world-class sports and entertainment venue. However, on Wednesday, Jan. 24, it served as a huge classroom for Bradley Tech students.

Just because the new arena isn't yet game-time ready, doesn't mean it isn't a destination right now, even while it's a construction site.

"When we decided to build this arena, we said 'how can we give back to the community,' and 'how can we use this as a learning tool, a real-life learning lab?'" said Alicia Dupies, vice president of corporate/social responsibilities for the Milwaukee Bucks.

A total of 17 students from Bradley Tech were on-site Wednesday -- first going over blueprints. Instead of "interns," they were called "techterns. They've been getting hands-on lessons every six weeks.

"I work with an architect firm Eppstein Uhen Architects, and we are helping the 'techterns' learn about architecture today through scaling exercises and learning how to read plans," said Kelsey Webb, architect.

Once briefed, students like Terrel Johnson headed inside the arena to have a crack at installation.

This program is utilizing the full potential of this unique opportunity for students who may pursue careers in the trades -- and turning an active work zone into a one-of-a-kind classroom.

"I can tell people that I got to put some of these chairs in. I was in here before this," said a Bradley Tech student.

"It's exciting! Bragging rights. I mean, I can say I was in here before it was even built," said a Bradley Tech student.

Jonathon Gregg

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