Bucyrus Foundation approves $10 million to South Milwaukee for schools, spaces and nonprofits

SOUTH MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Bucyrus Foundation announced in a press release Thursday, Sept. 9 that it will give $10 million dollars to South Milwaukee institutions that "make it uniquely South Milwaukee." 

The gift will come as a series of $1 million donations annually over the next decade, and be administered through the city of South Milwaukee and South Milwaukee School District, which will receive $2 million of the overall contribution.

Funds will build on the foundation’s $2 million grant in 2020 toward the launch of the Bucyrus Club and Event Center/Bucyrus Museum and development of Bucyrus Commons, a downtown public gathering space.

The new $10 million contributions will fund the following:

● Downtown South Milwaukee redevelopment, potentially laying a foundation for the creation of an entity focused on investments in property acquisition and rehabilitation, business attraction and retention, public improvements, marketing, events and other initiatives aimed at revitalizing South Milwaukee’s city center.

● The South Milwaukee School District, with a focus on investments in athletics and STEM and manufacturing career education.

● Public spaces and greenspaces, including initiatives to help fund city- and Milwaukee County-owned parks and other natural areas like Bucyrus Commons, the South Milwaukee War Memorial, Grant Park, the Oak Creek Watershed and other areas in the city.

● A grant program for South Milwaukee nonprofit organizations, including South Milwaukee Human Concerns, a significant recipient of Bucyrus support prior tothe sale of the company in 2011.

“This is a historic day in our city. These funds will have lasting impact across South Milwaukee and will further strengthen the legacy of this storied company in our city," said South Milwaukee mayor Erik Brooks. "We could not deliver South Milwaukee’s promising future without partners like Tim and the Bucyrus Foundation, and we can not thank them enough for their generosity. We are excited to start strategically investing these funds.”

At one point, Bucyrus employed more than 2,400 people in South Milwaukee, and had more than 11,000 employees operating in 17 plants and subsidiary service operations worldwide.

In July of 2011, the company was purchased by Caterpillar. The products were rebranded and the Bucyrus name would no longer be used.

The Bucyrus Foundation was formed in the 1970s.

In 2002 the company transferred its foundation to the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.

In recent years, the foundation has supported a number of South Milwaukee initiatives, including a $1.5 million contribution in 2020 toward construction of the Bucyrus Club & Event Center and Bucyrus Museum, which opened in downtown South Milwaukee in July. The foundation is also contributing$500,000 toward the Bucyrus Commons project, a public event space in downtown South Milwaukee. 

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