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Building blocks

Local architect has designs on changing more than just structures.

Steve Wolters is tasked with overseeing many Miron Construction projects around town including the completion of Alumni Park on the UW campus, which celebrates its grand opening on Oct. 6.

Steve Wolters is tasked with overseeing many Miron Construction projects around town including the completion of Alumni Park on the UW campus, which celebrates its grand opening on Oct. 6.

Photograph by Shawn Harper

(page 1 of 2)

From the pages of In Business magazine.

Architect Steve Wolters, 50, may be new to Miron Construction Co. Inc., but he’s hardly new to Madison.

He earned his architectural degree from UW–Milwaukee and has 27 years of design and construction experience under his belt. In 1999, he accepted a job with Erdman where he focused on designing medical facilities around the country. In January, Wolters was hired as vice president of Madison operations for Neenah-based Miron where he’s now charged with growing the company’s health care business.

In this area, Miron is preparing to complete the new Alumni Park on the UW–Madison campus in October, it is starting renovations on the UW–School of Business, and it also just broke ground on the Gebhardt Building on East Washington Avenue, among other notable projects. Eventually, the company will relocate its Madison offices to the sixth floor of the Gebhardt Building, and Wolters is excited to be leading the design of that space.

In a recent discussion, we delved a bit further.

IB: You say you always wanted to be an architect. Explain.
Wolters:
I was always good at drawing and doing artwork, but at some point figured that a successful career in art would be difficult. Tinker Toys and Legos inspired me.

IB: How has your transition from Erdman to Miron gone?
Wolters:
I’m seeing things from a different perspective. I’m an architect working for a general contractor. Some joke that I’ve joined the “dark side.”

IB: What value does that new perspective bring?
Wolters:
I’ve seen a lot of flaws in the design and construction industries, such as communication issues. I know how architects see the world. My goal is to bring very smart people together in a more collaborative, communicative way so we all can do great things together.

IB: How do you accomplish that?
Wolters:
You believe in people and in doing things for a common cause. It’s all about the presentation and how you present things. We’re a construction firm. I want us to think more collaboratively and strategically to make the journey better. Perhaps I’m a realist, but I’ll continue to be so.

IB: How would you describe the current state of the local construction industry?
Wolters:
Everybody is extremely busy, which is good for the economy, the people, employees, and families. I don’t see that slowing down, but it also adds pressure to make sure the services and facilities we provide don’t diminish in quality so we can still make our schedules, budgets, and keep our promises.

(Continued)

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