Michigan Company Offers 45,000 Square Foot Charter School in Village of Waukesha | Business

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A for-profit charter school management company based in Grand Rapids, Mich., National Heritage Academies operates 98 schools in nine states, according to its website, serving more than 60,000 K-12 students.

It is one of the largest charter school operators in the United States, operating schools in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, New York, North Carolina, Colorado, Georgia and Louisiana. He currently operates a school in Wisconsin, Milwaukee Scholars in Milwaukee, which operates under a charter from UW-Milwaukee.

The company is still in the process of applying for a second charter through UW-Milwaukee that would allow it to open a kindergarten-8 school in the village, said Robert Dunston, who works in real estate acquisitions for the NHA. But company officials are hoping the school will be built in time to welcome students for the 202223 school year.

When asked why the company wanted to open its next charter school in the village of Waukesha, Dunston said studies of the company revealed there was demand in the area.

“Our government relations people are doing polls. They did one here and it came back positive; enough to say it’s a good place to put another school, ”he said.

Waukesha County is currently home to a dozen charter schools. Most are in the town of Waukesha, but there are a handful of charter schools in Wales, as well as a brick and mortar school in Eagle and a virtual school headquartered in Mukwonago.

Development

Dunston worked with the company’s local lawyer to give the commissioners an overview of the project.

According to the company’s proposal, the school would be protected by four commercial lots, which would be located closer to the busy intersection. The school would be located further east on Lawnsdale Road, closer to its intersection with Big Bend Road.

The NHA would sell the lots as they develop, company officials said.

At its capacity, the school would serve 772 students and 60 staff. The school would start by serving students from Kindergarten through 5th or 6th grade, adding an additional year per year, until they serve students up to 8th grade.

Two entrances and exits would serve the school: a right-hand entrance / exit on Highway 164, and two entry lanes and a one-way lane on Lawnsdale Road. a series of service roads on the property that would help keep vehicles moving during pickup and drop-off hours. There would also be staggered exit times for students.

Since the school is run by a for-profit company, it will pay property taxes.

Chronology

All the commissioners expressed their support for the project.

“I am really excited. I think this is a very beautiful thing for the village. I would just like to hear from the neighbors,” said Commissioner Victoria Hekkers.

Company representatives said they plan to return soon to the Planning Commission with an official proposal.

In addition to providing an official site plan and other documents, the company will have to have the zoning of part of the property changed to allow the construction of a school there. The property is currently zoned R-1 single family residence, but village land use maps predict that the area will one day be developed commercially.

A public hearing on a comprehensive amendment to the plan could take place by November, according to village staff.

This could be good news for the NHA.

“We would like to start the mass leveling (of the property) before the snow clears,” Dunston noted.


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