Groundbreaking ceremony held for $22M redevelopment project at former Phillis Wheatley Elementary
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Renovation work started on an old Milwaukee public school that's been closed for 16 years.
Thursday, May 13, crews broke ground on a $22 million redevelopment project at the site of the former Phillis Wheatley Elementary School.
We broke ground this morning on a $22 million redevelopment of the former Phillis Wheatley Elementary School in Lindsay Heights. This development is part of our plan to strengthen historic neighborhoods, contribute to our city's economic vibrancy, and provide quality housing. pic.twitter.com/zKq74shpkd— Mayor Tom Barrett (@MayorOfMKE) May 13, 2021
It will reuse the existing school building and add a new four-story building on the same site. It will provide affordable housing and other amenities, like a café.
The CEO of the company funding the construction has a personal connection to the site.
"This is a very, very valuable day for me, in the context of calling this my home. Growing up and being able to come back and improve the neighborhood through this renovation with Phillis Wheatley means a lot; my former grade school, so it means a lot. Makes me emotional when I think about it," said Kevin Newell, Founder and CEO of Royal Capital venture & Holdings.
This type of construction is called "adaptive reuse." It involves new construction that doesn't destroy existing buildings and helps keep the aesthetic identity of the neighborhood intact.