Parish may at last have buyer for Saukville school

St. John XXIII negotiating sale of former Immaculate Conception, developer working on plans for St. Mary’s

ST. JOHN XXIII PARISH is in the process of selling two of its schools — the former Immaculate Conception School in Saukville (top), which is currently leased by Ozaukee Christian School, and St. Mary’s School in Port Washington. The parish plans to consolidate classes at its St. Peter’s School in Port. Left photo by Sam Arendt, Press file photo at right
By 
KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM
Ozaukee Press staff

After years on the market, the former Immaculate Conception Catholic School in Saukville may soon become home to a new church.

Father Patrick Wendt, pastor of St. John XXIII Parish, said the parish has reached an agreement to sell the former school and parish house for $240,000.

The school would become home to Redeemed Christian Church of God, Household of God, a Milwaukee area, Bible-based church that would use the facilities for worship as well as gatherings and education, he said.

The church is doing its due diligence, something expected to be completed by mid-month, Wendt said, noting that the sale is expected to close in mid-April.

The archdiocese has approved the sale, he added.

The sale would displace Ozaukee Christian School, which currently leases the school building. 

Principal Kris Austin said officials have talked to the prospective new owners and the school will probably remain in place for the coming school year.

“It didn’t seem to be a question in their mind,” she said. “We think it will probably be fine.”

Ozaukee Christian has been looking for a building of its own for years, Austin said, noting they have looked at close to 80 possible locations.

“None of them was just right,” she said. But recently, the school may have found that perfect locations.

“We have something in mind that seems to be all green lights,” she said.

In the meantime, Ansay Development is continuing to do its due diligence work on the St. John XXIII Parish, St. Mary’s Catholic School building. That work will determine whether it makes sense to remodel the building for apartments or whether the structure will be razed, Wendt said.

The parish has extended the firm’s due diligence deadline until the end of May, he said, noting the parish has only recently completed plans to maximize parking in the area for St. Mary’s Church since it will be losing the school parking lot.

Wendt said the street will be reconfigured to allow for angle parking near the church, and the circular driveway in front of the church will be expanded to allow for handicapped parking.

“We think with the angle parking, we lost some (parking) spaces, but nothing significant,” Wendt said.

The parish has agreed to sell the school and the parish house next to it to Ansay Development for $625,000, and Ansay has agreed to allow the school to remain in place until an addition to the St. Peter’s School campus is completed. 

Proceeds from the property sales will go to the St. John XXIII Parish capital campaign as well as other parish needs, Wendt said.

The capital campaign, which will allow the parish to consolidate its school at the St. Peter’s Campus, has raised about $4 million of the $4.5 million goal, Wendt said.

Much of this is in the form of pledges over three years, he said, adding the parish needs to have half the cash needed in hand before construction can begin.

“We’re past that,” he said.

The parish is in the final stages of tweaking its plans to expand the renovate the St. Peter’s school building for the consolidation, Wendt said, adding some changes needed for security are being addressed.

It will take about a year for construction to be completed, he said, adding the parish hopes to move into the new building in fall 2019.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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