Notre Dame Schools to expand

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Notre Dame Schools of Milwaukee plans to expand its primary school after purchasing the former Grace Hmong Alliance Church located at 1418 S. Layton Blvd. in Milwaukee.

Notre Dame Primary School currently leases space in the St. Patrick’s Parish school building, located at 723 W. Washington St. in Milwaukee. The primary school opened in August 2012 and has continued growing its enrollment numbers since its first year.

The school’s acquisition of the Grace Hmong Alliance Church will cater to the school’s enrollment boost and will support its mission to provide a Catholic, co-educational, dual language education to area students in the Latino community.

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According to school officials, in recent years many fifth-grade students entering Notre Dame Middle School from the primary school have struggled with language skills, as well performed below grade level in math, reading and science.

“The expansion of our mission to the primary school is meant to prevent this problem so that we can begin preparing these students for academic success starting in kindergarten,” said Mary McIntosh, Notre Dame president.

Notre Dame Schools of Milwaukee plans to open its new facility this fall for K-4 students, employing a curriculum that prepares them to enter into its middle school, which is a Catholic college preparatory middle school for Latinas.

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The new facility, purchased with assistance from the nonprofit lender and real estate consultant IFF, encompasses a 25,000-square-foot school building as well as a church, a rectory and a convent situated on about two acres of land. The new school site also features a playground area and greenery.

In partnership with Milwaukee-based CG Schmidt, Inc., Notre Dame Schools of Milwaukee is renovating the acquired building with new paint and carpet, roof repairs, and upgrades to its electrical unit and data networks.

“The process needs to move quickly so we are ready for occupancy the first day of school on Aug. 18,” said Kimberly Romero, principal of the primary school. “This acquisition is a win-win for the kids, the Layton Boulevard neighborhood and the Hispanic community.”

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