The United Community Center is halfway to its $9.5 million fundraising campaign goal for the organization’s new 22,000-square-foot early learning center on Milwaukee’s south side, executive director Ricardo Diaz said Monday.
UCC leaders and supporters celebrated the start of construction for the project at a groundbreaking ceremony Monday.
The new UCC Early Learning Academy is being constructed on a site next to the organization’s current childcare and learning center at 2210 W. Becher St. The fundraising campaign to fund the project is the largest in UCC’s history.
The new building will have the capacity to serve as many as 200 children, ages six weeks to three years old. UCC currently serves 56 students at its existing center.
Based on neighborhood demographics and current enrollment, the organization expects at least 85% of the children at the center to come from low-income families.
“It’s going to be transformational for the city of Milwaukee and the community and people that we serve,” said Laura Gutiérrez, incoming executive director of UCC.
UCC is aiming to complete construction by May 2020 and open it to students in the fall.
Last year, UCC completed construction on a new school building at 1038 S. 6th St. for Acosta Middle School, a technology and skilled trades-focused charter school. Enrollment at the school has tripled since it opened in 2016, and by the 2021-22 year, Acosta expects to have 250 students.The organization also operates Bruce-Guadalupe Elementary School, a charter school for grades K4 through 8th grade, at 1028 S. 9th St.