United Community Center launches $6 million capital campaign to expand school

The United Community Center has launched a $6 million campaign to expand the Bruce-Guadalupe Community School. The expansion will add a nearly 12,000-square-foot third floor to the school.

United Community Center launches $6 million capital campaign to expand school

The United Community Center has launched a $6-million campaign called Raise the Roof, to expand Bruce-Guadalupe Community School by a third-floor expansion of nearly 12,000 square feet.

The Bruce-Guadalupe Charter School, located at 1028 S. Ninth St., Milwaukee is for K3 to 8th grade students. The school is operated in partnership with University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

At its anniversary dinner on Friday night, the United Community Center (UCC), which was attended at by over 300 business leaders and community leaders from Milwaukee, including Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnston and Milwaukee County executive David Crowley, officially launched the campaign. See photos from the event in the slideshow attached.

The campaign will continue until 2025. The nonprofit organization has already raised $1,000,000 towards the project.

Laura Gutierrez, CEO of UCC told the Milwaukee Business Journal that she believes the donations and philanthropy are due to the trust that people have in us. They are supporting the cause because they believe we are making student-informed investments and decisions because students are our future leaders.

The project includes both the addition a third-floor with 12 new classrooms and the expansion of the cafeteria. Gutierrez said that when the school opened in 1991, there were about 200 students. The school now has more than 800 students at its main campus. This campaign allows Bruce-Guadalupe to grow along with the needs and wants of its students.

She said, "It (will) help us assess the academic and behavioral needs of our students and make sure that we're being intentional about the programs and the resources that are coming into,"

The expansion will allow the charter school to offer smaller classes and a revamped curriculum, which includes more courses in music and the arts, along with core concepts like math, reading, and writing.

United Community Center and VJS Construction, based in Pewaukee, are working together on this project. Gutierrez noted that the project is cost-effective because VJS Construction was involved in the construction of the original building. The architectural drawings were already available to the construction company, which is replicating the second floor and flipping it upwards into an expanded third-floor.

The project should be completed in the fall of 2024. The construction project will not disrupt school functions.

The anniversary celebration featured business and community leaders from the Milwaukee area, including Grady Crosby of Northwestern Mutual and Anthony Hudson of BMO Harris Bank. Gus Ramirez was the chairman of Husco, Mark Thomas of American Red Cross of Wisconsin and Jim Tarantino of Capri Communities. Molly Schweiger of PNC Bank received an Estrella Brillante award.