Jordan O’Connor is a project leader and architect currently working on the Black River Falls and Neenah High School projects. Jordan’s role includes leading the designers, coordinating construction documents, and communicating with the client at key project milestones.
Jordan has been interested in design from an early age. He remembers drawing pictures of houses and creating floor plans as a kid. This led him to take drafting classes in high school and eventually enroll in engineering courses in his first semester of college. After a semester of calculus and physics, Jordan craved more opportunities to exercise creativity. Midway through his freshman year, he transferred to the UW-Milwaukee’s architecture program. It was the right move. “I’ve learned that not everyone has the ability or the desire to think about and visualize spaces like an architect does, so I really value being able to help others do this,” he said.
While his portfolio includes a variety of building typologies, Jordan knows there is something special about working on K-12 schools. “Kids spend so much time in these spaces, and their impressions of their learning environments stick with them as they grow,” he said. “I can remember as far back as my kindergarten classroom. I love that what I do can influence children’s learning experiences and memories of their time in school.”
Students aren’t his only audience. Jordan has enjoyed meeting the leadership teams at the school districts, and he appreciates the level of trust they put in him and his team to realize their visions. One of the best moments of the design process is walking them through a virtual model of the proposed spaces for the first time and reading the excitement on their faces.
Outside of the office, Jordan stays busy working on his own construction projects at home. He credits his day job in helping him become a little savvier in his renovation work, which he completes mostly on his own. If he’s not swinging a hammer, Jordan is spending time with his wife and three kids, including summer weekends at their family cabin in northern WI.