Building Wrap


The Next Door Foundation plans to raise $1.6 million as the last part of a $9.3 million capital campaign to improve the interior and exterior of its building. The nonprofit organization located at 2545 N. 29th St. in Milwaukee raised the $6.8 million needed for the Educare Center, its second early childcare center that opened in September, to expand its services and capacity for children of low-income families.

"When we built the new Educare Center, we wanted to commit to improving the space of the older and existing building," said Sharon Schulz, executive director for the Next Door Foundation.

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The funds will allow for the Next Door Foundation to construct an exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS), which includes wrapping the building in insulation and covering the insulation with a plaster that resembles stucco, Schulz said.

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The plaster coating will be made to resemble the exterior of the Educare Center, Joe Wagner, co-owner of G&W Plastering in Fond du Lac said.

The Educare Center was designed by the Omaha office of RDG Planning and Design and was based on a national model. It is the third center like it in the country, Schulz said.

The center is connected to the older Next Door Foundation building.

The Educare Center provides early childhood development programs for children of low-income families, ages 6 weeks to 4 years. The older building offers programs to children between the ages of 3 and 5.

The Educare Center is a public/private partnership between the State of Wisconsin and the Next Door Foundation. The Next Door Foundation raised private dollars to build the school, and public dollars are being used to cover the cost of operations, Schulz said.

G&W Plastering will install the EIFS to the Next Door Foundation’s older building, Schulz said. The Next Door Foundation and G&W Plastering will not have a contract until the funds are available for the project.

The exterior insulation process was suggested to Next Door Foundation by RDG.

"Some classrooms were colder in the winter when the temperature drops," Schulz said. "The architects checked out our HVAC system and the issue was not related to the heating and cooling system but largely related to insulation concerns."

EIFS is not a new method for insulating building. However, it has gained popularity recently because of its ability to save between 20 and 30 percent in energy costs, said Ken Dickert, sales manager for the Milwaukee office of Central Acoustical Supply House.

Central Acoustical Supply House, based in Columbus, Ohio, is the sole distributor in Wisconsin of Dryvit Systems Inc., a company based in West Warwick, R.I., that specializes in EIFS. G&W installs Dryvit for its EIFS offering.

The building that the Next Door Foundation is currently in previously housed Helwig Carbon Products Inc., which used it as a factory, Schulz said.

"The building was not built for the purpose of providing neighborhood social services to young children," Schulz said.

With the additional funds, the Next Door Foundation plans to renovate its original building with classroom upgrades for preschoolers, new indoor play space for children, the addition of a sprinkler system and a new location for the Books for Kids program, Schulz said.

The renovations will include knocking down some walls to create more open spaces that are contiguous, Schulz said.

The Books for Kids program will be moved toward the front entrance of the building so that it is more readily accessible to the public, in hopes of raising awareness of the program and for various security purposes.

"The biggest project is the pediatric clinic operated by Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin," Schulz said. "We want to make that space larger and more accessible to the community."

The pediatric clinic is for both families who participate in the programs the Next Door Foundation offers and the general public in need of medical assistance. Schulz hopes to attract a dental hygienist into the space as well.

The Next Door Foundation’s goal is to have the $1.6 million raised by the end of this year, Schulz said

"This building is a wonderful space but the new building has a different feel that is new and fresh," Schulz said. "In the existing building the classrooms do need repairs and upgrades to improve the environment for children as well.

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