Dr. Howard Fuller Collegiate Academy launches $25 million capital campaign

Funds will go toward new high school and middle school

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Dr. Howard Fuller Collegiate Academy (HFCA) has officially launched a $25 million capital campaign. The campaign was created to help fund the construction of a new high school building, which could eventually lead to a proposed new feeder middle school. The launch of this campaign puts into motion plans for expansion the academy shared with BizTimes Media in March.

HFCA has already raised $16 million of the needed $20 million in funding for a new high school through its Commit to the Future capital campaign, which launched last fall. Officials hope to raise the remaining $4 million in time to have the new high school, to be located at 2212-28 N. Vel R. Phillips Ave., ready for the 2023-24 school year.

“There’s been tremendous interest in the campaign, from foundations from corporations, from families… folks have really rallied,” said Cory Nettles, co-chair of the Commit to the Future capital campaign and founder and managing director of Generation Growth Capital, Inc. “We’ve had gifts from $100 to seven figures, so we’ve really been fortunate to have raised a significant amount of money from a wide and diverse group of donors.”

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HFCA is also raising another $5 million to support the renovation of the existing high school building at 4030 N. 29th St. into a new middle school. This would require approval from the Wisconsin DPI and the city of Milwaukee. HFCA would not seek those approvals until sometime in 2023. The middle school would then ideally be open for the 2024-25 school year.

The new building will allow high school enrollment to grow from 325 students to 500 students. The proposed feeder middle school would enroll approximately 325 students.

“A new middle school would enable HFCA staff to reach students earlier and remediate proficiency deficits in the sixth grade instead of the ninth grade,” said Dr. Howard Fuller, distinguished professor emeritus at Marquette University and former superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools. “The goal is for students to be better prepared for higher level courses and dual enrollment in college. Expanding STEM education, including business, technology, and health care career preparation, will help achieve the high school’s vision.”

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The new high school will also include a gymnasium and auditorium for students.

HFCA has historically put an emphasis on the college part of “college and career readiness,” promoting messaging that keeps students focused on their post-secondary education plans. The mission of the Black-governed and Black-led school is to nurture scholars capable of transforming their world by sending them “to and through” college. HFCA is open to all Milwaukee students.

“What principal Judith Parker and the rest of the staff at HFCA have accomplished through vision, dedication and determination is powerful,” said Nettles. “They are guiding Black scholars to 100% college acceptance, preparing scholars to succeed in college or another career path, and nurturing alumni to be the next generation of HFCA teachers and leaders. But most importantly, they are preparing their students to become socially and economically productive citizens.”

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Other capital campaign co-chairs include Patty Cadorin, retired BMO Harris executive, and Thelma Sias, retired WE Energies executive.

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