Milwaukee charter school system Seeds of Health Inc. plans to open a high school in part of the former Milwaukee Sentinel building downtown, according to city records.
The building is located at 918 N. Vel R. Phillips Ave. It is part of the former Journal Sentinel complex located southeast of West State Street and North Vel R. Phillips Avenue. Milwaukee developer J. Jeffers & Co. is converting the vacant office buildings there into housing and commercial uses.
The school will be located on the first through fourth floors on the south portion of the approximately 73,750-square-foot building at 918 N. Vel R. Phillips Ave., according to permit records. The high school project accounts for about 35,900 square feet. It would include classrooms, assembly space, business areas, a commercial kitchen and other educational rooms such as vocational or shop space.
Construction drawings show business offices, a 104-person assembly area, the kitchen and a classroom on the first floor. The upper floors are primarily comprised of classrooms and business offices.
Seeds of Health did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In addition to building permits, the project requires a certificate of appropriateness for the proposed changes to the historic building's exterior. That application is slated for a public hearing on Monday, April 12.
Construction is underway on other parts of Jeffers' Journal Square project. Work commenced in November on the $29.1 million conversion of the 1962 building addition into 195 beds of affordable housing for Milwaukee Area Technical College students.
Josh Jeffers, president and chief executive officer of Jeffers & Co., said the Seeds of Health high school will tie in well with the MATC student housing.
"It’s really going to be a nice ecosystem that we’re putting together on that redevelopment block," he said.
Affiliates of Jeffers & Co. bought the three Journal Sentinel buildings in fall 2019. The newspaper has since moved out of the largely vacant buildings to a different downtown office space.
According to its website, Seeds of Health operates its schools through partnership and charter agreements with the Milwaukee Public Schools and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and the WIC Program through the Department of Health and Family Services.
It has an elementary and a few high school locations throughout the city.