Students learn construction, architecture from new Bucks arena

MILWAUKEE - As the Bucks arena takes shape over the Milwaukee skyline, a small group of students are putting their mark on it.

Students from Bradley Tech High School made the new Bucks arena their classroom.

"I think a lot of them coming onto the arena thought they would meet all the Bucks players and be really involved with the Bucks but it's quite the opposite. They are learning how to build this project from the ground up," said Bridget Kraus, marketing director for Mortenson Construction.

The students are getting hands-on experience in all parts of construction.

"I am doing graphic design," said junior Ca'idden Greer.

"Construction, that's what I want to do," said junior Deon Henning.

"I am thinking about architecture," said junior Xavier Gilbert.

They are getting the chance to work on the new arena as part of their high school's trade program.

"We laid down tile, drywall, input light," Henning said.

While students get skills to put on their resumes, Mortensen Construction hopes to convince some of them to pursue a future in the trades.  

"There is a shortage in craft workers so we are trying to make a concerted effort to go into high schools and expose students to different career paths they can take," Kraus said.

But it is not just trade skills these students are learning life skills. 

"It is one thing for us to say you need to be on time, you need to learn how to work in a team and be a problem solver. It's another when you are on an actual worksite," said Dr. Darienne Driver, MPS Superintendent

All while leaving a permanent mark on Milwaukee.

"We can say that we were the first ones here since start to finish," Greer said.

"It's like I helped build it," Henning said.

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