The Milwaukee Board of School Directors on Thursday night approved the construction contract to renovate the vacant Malcolm X site, 2760 N. 1st St., into a new home for Rufus King International Middle School, which currently inhabits a former elementary school.
The plan to move King from the old McNair building, 4950 N. 24th St., to the controversial building on 1st and Center Streets, was made official in October.
The $9.8 million contract with Nicholas & Associates is for the renovation of the 1961 school building, which occupies the western and northern portion of the site, though the southwestern section of the building will likely be razed as part of a related plan to redevelop the southern portion of the site.
That part of the land is mostly playground space and its residential and/or commercial redevelopment is being handled by the Department of City Development.
The contract calls for work to begin on March 2 and to be completed by June 1, 2016. But folks driving past have noticed contractors' vehicles on site for months now as preparatory work – including, I believe, asbestos removal – for months.
According to a district press release, "The move gives King Middle, now housed in a former elementary school, the ability to expand to serve more families along with a full-size gym, large auditorium, more art and music opportunities, opportunities for more foreign language offerings and modern science labs. King Middle is set to open in the Malcolm X facility in the fall of 2016."
In other facilities news, the board hired Foundation Architects to design the new addition at Fernwood Montessori School in Bay View. According to one source, the goal is to have "shovels in the ground" by summer. A similar project approved for Maryland Avenue Montessori School will follow.
Seats at both successful programs are highly coveted and, thus, both programs face space issues. Maryland Avenue, on the East Side, is using two temporary classrooms erected on site until …Read more...