Charter school may have found a home

By 
MITCH MAERSCH
Ozaukee Press staff

A several-minute tour on March 15 was all it took for the governance board to be impressed with a possible site for the Cedar Grove-Belgium School District’s charter school.

“To say the least, the group is very excited about the possibilities,” Supt. Chad Brakke said.

The Rocket Academy may lease the former Wester Electric building in Belgium from its current owner, Krier Foods. Its 10,000 square feet has offices that could be used for classrooms, bathrooms and a well-lit, open area with an eight-inch concrete floor and seven garage doors that could be split into different technical education stations.

Krier Foods doesn’t need the building anymore.

“We haven’t discussed any terms, but they are at least willing to talk about the possibility of leasing the facility to the Rocket Academy,” Brakke said.

The other site Brakke checked out was in Belgium’s industrial park. The building has 22,000 square feet of open space but no bathrooms and would be costly to renovate, Brakke said, estimating the price tag would be in the $600,000 to $900,000 range.

“This would save you a good chunk of change,” Mike Dietrich, vice president of LAB Midwest and a member of the board of governance, said.

The group, comprised of higher education and manufacturing professionals, also continued work on its Workforce Innovation Grant application that Brakke said could total around $2 million to go toward the purchase or lease of a facility and for equipment. The list of items the money would be used for include heating, ventilation and air system renovations, adding compressed air, electrical extensions and air drops and a forklift.

Dietrich said once companies get excited about the project they will drop off “literally tons” of material at the school, which is slated to double as a training center for area manufacturing companies.

The school wasn’t selected in the first round of the grant, but governance board members agreed to acquire more letters of support from area businesses to increase the chances of a grant award in the next round.

The application deadline April 15.

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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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