Ald. Zielinski Opposes Ramirez Private School Plan, Ald. Jose G. Perez Silent
Milwaukee – A few months ago a plan was filed with the city proposing a $40 million private school and athletic facility to be built on Milwaukee’s south side. The plan has the backing of one of Wisconsin’s prominent private voucher school advocates, Gus Ramirez.
According to the Ramirez plan, the school would be called St. Augustine Preparatory Academy, which would feature a soccer field and would be constructed in two phases.
The first phase of construction would be a four-story building with up to 185,000 square feet of space able to have a capacity for 1,000 children.
In addition to academic facilities, the school would include a gymnasium and outdoor athletic facilities that would be available for public use while the school was not in session.
In the second phase, the school seeks to a swimming pool and auditorium.
On Monday, several groups including representatives of the group, Hispanics for School Choice, held s rally in the community in support of the Ramirez Foundation plan.
However, not everyone is in board with the proposal.
Milwaukee Ald. Tony Zielinski stands in opposition to the plan because the site he believes should be developed instead as an indoor soccer facility for the community.
Ald. Zielinski argues that the area was intended to give youths living in the neighborhood something to do during the winter months.
“That land is to be used for a 100,000 square foot soccer facility so kids can play soccer year round. My constituents wanted me to get the soccer facility and did not ask for another school”, said Ald. Zielinski.
Ald. Zielinski added that La Causa Charter School also opposes the building of another school in the area.
“La Causa is opposed to another school there”, said Zielinski.
Zielinski acknowledges that the Ramirez school plan is a plan full of good intentions, however, there is a difference of opinion between he and Ramirez regarding the lands development and use.
The rally in support of the Ramirez plan was attended by the Ramirez Foundation, supported by United Community Center executive director, Ricardo Diaz and former Hispanic Chamber of Commerce director, Maria Cameron.
Request for commitment was made to the office of Alderman Jose G. Perez regarding this matter.
Ald. Perez made no response to repeated attempts asking his position on whether he supports the building of a private school along with a soccer field at the site.