St. Marcus Lutheran School celebrated yesterday the official groundbreaking of the B. Bruce Krier Center, the school’s second and final phase of a major campus expansion project in two years of a $13.5 million campus expansion project. Named in honor of a legacy of contributions of over ten years of support to the school by Krier Foods, Inc. CEO B. Bruce Krier, including a seven-figure contribution for the Phase II expansion, the campus addition will serve as a multipurpose space for St. Marcus students, their families and the community.
“We are thrilled to be breaking ground on this new addition, giving us the space we urgently need for both our students and to serve the surrounding community,” said Henry Tyson, St. Marcus’ Superintendent. “The outpouring of support from individual donors, foundations, community partners and corporations in the community throughout this expansion process has been a true blessing. Through hard work and dedication our students achieve what many never thought possible. Thank you to everyone who has supported St. Marcus scholars and made their success possible.”
The ceremony featured a welcome from Pastor Mark Jeske and remarks from Superintendent Henry Tyson. Krier addressed attendees and presented a check for $1 million, a portion of his total contribution to the expansion project, and was the first to place the shovel in the ground, alongside several St. Marcus students. Following the shovel ceremony, a drum line led attendees to the North Avenue parking lot for refreshments and commemorative items.
Upon completion of the B. Bruce Krier Center, the expansion project will have added approximately 14,000 additional square feet of facilities critical to meeting the needs of more than 700 students, their families and the surrounding community. The multipurpose space will be used as a gymnasium, auditorium and performance space. The building will also be opened to the community as a public gathering space, volunteer, educational programming and resource center.
Krier’s most recent contribution (combined with others) allowed St. Marcus to fulfill and claim a $1 million Challenge Grant from the M&I Foundation ensuring enough funds were available to begin construction. Beginning with a goal of $12 million for the expansion project, St. Marcus raised the bar and recently set a new campaign goal of $13.5 million after recognizing a need for more advanced equipment, as well as to accommodate a request by Krier for the Phase II building to include a basement for future growth and programming space, ensuring that the new construction would be able to serve the ever-growing number of students and surrounding community.
At the time of groundbreaking, St. Marcus needs to raise just $565,000 to reach the final goal. Currently, a challenge from Marva and Karl Schlueter, also campus expansion lead donors, are offering a match for every new commitment of $2.50 with an additional $1.00 up to $135,000.
“If results matter, there is no better investment. At St. Marcus, the results are evident and tangible,” said Krier. “It’s not a dollar on your dollar; it’s a child in America. What could be a better investment than the success of a child?”
Throughout his life, Krier has been an active supporter of youth-oriented programs and has supported
St. Marcus through volunteer work, in-kind contributions and monetary donations for more than ten years. He has served as CEO of Random Lake based Krier Foods, Inc. since 1986 and is the fourth generation Krier to oversee the company, which specializes in non-alcoholic beverage production and packaging.
Phase I of the expansion opened in August 2011 and added capacity for 348 students, doubling the school’s capacity. The building has been lauded by many for adding vibrancy to the community, winning a 2012 Mayor’s Design Award and a Milwaukee Business Journal Real Estate Award.
Due to high demand for St. Marcus’s high-quality education, the school has more than 670 students enrolled for the 2012-2013 school year, with approximately 200 students on the waiting list. Given the number of students on the waiting list, the school opened an additional K5 classroom and first grade classroom.
The Phase I and II buildings were each designed by Korb Tredo Architects, with the building construction led by Catalyst Construction. Construction is expected to take five months and be complete in February 2013. Renderings of the Phase II project, as well as photos of the Phase I building, can be viewed and downloaded at the following link: http://tinyurl.com/stmarcusexpansion.
About St. Marcus School:
St. Marcus School is a Christian, college-prep school serving predominantly low-income African-American students from K3-8th grade. As a nationally recognized leader in urban education reform,
St. Marcus empowers individuals, children and families to overcome challenges and reach their full potential. Graduating students are fully prepared for high school and positioned to excel in higher education, including university academics and as leaders in their communities. The Christian focus and no-excuses approach encourages growth in wisdom, dedication and self-discipline.
- Students boast an average daily attendance rate of 96%
- 97% of 2005-2011 St. Marcus alumni graduated from or remain in high school
- 74% of 8th grade students are proficient or advanced in math
- 85% of 8th grade students are proficient or advanced in reading
- The percentage of students admitted to a four year college has skyrocketed over the past three years: Class of 2005: 15%; Class of 2006 50%; Class of 2007 78%.
For more information about the mission of St. Marcus School, please visit http://www.stmarcus.org/school/
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