ENR Midwest's judges carefully curated a list of 112 high-quality entries and returned just 32 winning entries for this year's ENR Midwest Best Projects.

The winners will be featured in-depth in the November edition of ENR Midwest and our first ever virtual event will be held in December to give out the awards to the winning project teams in lieu of a live event due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

We'll also be honoring our Owner of the Year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which also developed some winning Best Projects, Contractor of the Year Turner Construction, Design Firm of the Year Goettsch Partners and our recently named Specialty Contractor of the Year, mechanical and fire protection contractor JF Ahern.

The judges chose not to award an airport/transit project this year, based on the standards sets by projects that had won in the past such as the Milwaukee Intermodal Train Shed and the American Airlines Stinger Gate at O'Hare Airport in Chicago. We also had no entries in the Water projects category this year, so make sure to enter your water projects next year. Our judges — Danielle Dy Buncio, President and CEO of ViaTechnik; Laura Young, CEO of Griskelis Young Harrell; Geoff Weisenberger, editor of Modern Steel Construction magazine; Steve Zimmerman, associate principal at Wiss Janney Elstner Associates; Lynda Leigh, project executive of the Willis Tower repositioning at Turner Construction; William Haas, associated vice president at AECOM; Jeff Emrick, director of safety and compliance at Ozinga and Sam Mishelow, chief strategy officer at Meyer Najem Construction — all generously donated their time and expertise in judging a group of entrants that ranged from emergency railroad repairs to the latest in sports stadium technology and even a project that rethought how public housing is developed and built.

The renovation and restoration and highway/bridge categories had some of the most competitive fields we have ever seen and most categories were difficult to winnow down to just one best project winner and award of merit. Our safety judges, Jeff Emrick and Sam Mishelow, faced an even more difficult task in comparing safety projects across a wide swath of project types. For the second year in a row, ENR Midwest has given an award of merit for safety on a small project, because we believe safety is important on all projects and you should still enter your project in our competition even if it didn't have all the person-hours the bigger jobs have.

Any judges whose companies or firms made awards submissions were recused from judging the categories those submissions appeared in.

ENR Midwest will award a Project of the Year from the Best Project-level winners listed below. We’ll reveal the Project of the Year at our awards online event December 3 and watch this space for an announcement about the finalists.


Best Project: University of Wisconsin Madison Hamel Music Center, Madison, Wis.

Submitted by JP Cullen


Best Project: Driving Dynamics Lab, Dearborn, Mich.

Submitted by Albert Kahn Associates, Inc.

Government/Public Building

Best Project: McConnell Air Force Base Air Traffic Control Tower, Wichita, Kansas

Submitted by Burns & McDonnell

Award of Merit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Alternate Care Facility, Florissant, Mo.

Submitted by Tarlton Corporation

Green Projects

Best Project: Adlai Stevenson High School, District 125, East Building Addition, Lincolnshire, Ill.

Submitted by Gilbane Building Company

Health Care

Best Project: Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin Center for Advanced Care, Wauwatosa, Wis.

Submitted by Mortenson

Award of Merit: McCormick Place Alternate Care Facility, Chicago

Submitted by the Walsh Group

Higher Education/Research

Best Project: Daley College Manufacturing, Technology and Engineering Center (MTEC), Chicago

Submitted by JGMA

Award of Merit: University of Cincinnati Health Sciences Building, Cincinnati, Ohio

Submitted by Perkins and Will and Messer Construction


Best Project: Dublin Link, Dublin, Ohio

Submitted by T.Y. Lin International

Award of Merit: Winona Bridge CMGC, Winona, Minn.

Submitted by Ames Construction

Interior/Tenant Improvement

Best Project: Starbucks Reserve Roastery, Chicago

Submitted by Pepper Construction Company

Award of Merit: Knoll, Fulton Market Office, Chicago

Submitted by Clune Construction

K-12 Education

Best Project: Lisle Elementary School District 202, Lisle, Ill.

Submitted by Perkins and Will

Award of Merit: Chagrin Falls Exempted Village School District Intermediate School Renovation and Expansion, Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Submitted by Gilbane Building Company

Landscape/Hardscape/Urban Design

Best Project: Cantigny Park Garden and Landscape Improvements Phase 1, Wheaton, Ill.

Submitted by Sasaki

Award of Merit: Bark River Restoration, Delafield, Wis.

Submitted by Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc.


Best Project: Bystronic Experience Center, Hoffman Estates, Ill.

Submitted by The McShane Companies


Best Project: 111 East Grand, Des Moines, Iowa

Submitted by StructureCraft

Award of Merit: HDR Corporate Headquarters, Omaha, Neb.

Submitted by HDR, Inc.


Best Project: St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station

Submitted by McCarthy Building Companies

Award of Merit: The Old Chicago Main Post Office

Submitted by BEAR Construction Company


Best Project: Lathrop Homes Redevelopment Phase 1A, Chicago

Submitted by Lendlease (US) Construction Inc.

Award of Merit: One Bennett Park, Chicago

Submitted by Lendlease (US) Construction Inc.

Small Projects

Best Project: Chicago Riverwalk Esplanade Site Improvements

Submitted by F.H. Paschen

Award of Merit: Norfolk Southern Railroad Grand River Bridge Emergency Repairs, Brunswick, Mo.

Submitted by Massman Construction Co.

Specialty Construction

Best Project: BOLD Transmission Line Project, Indiana

Submitted by Cianbro


Best Project: Allianz Field, St. Paul, Minn.

Submitted by Populous

Award of Merit: The Ohio State University Covelli Multi-Sport Arena, Columbus, Ohio

Submitted by Gilbane Building Company

ENR Midwest Safety Award

Best Project: Oshkosh Corporation Global Headquarters, Oshkosh, Wis.

Submitted by Miron Construction Co., Inc.

Award of Merit: McConnell Air Force Base Air Traffic Control Tower, Wichita, Kansas

Submitted by Burns & McDonnell

Award of Merit for Safety on a Small Project: Norfolk Southern Railroad Grand River Bridge Emergency Repairs, Brunswick, Mo.

Submitted by Massman Construction Co.