Mayor: KUSD to Receive $1 Million of $15 Million in State Stimulus Funds to Help Create Academy in City’s Proposed Innovation District | Local News
Kenosha Unified will receive $1 million of the $15 million in stimulus funds announced Thursday by Gov. Tony Evers to help build Kenosha’s proposed Innovation District where the district’s technology education-based high school is expected to be located, said Mayor John Antaramian.
Although the school board has yet to officially adopt LakeView Technology Academy’s proposed move from Pleasant Prairie to Kenosha, the funding is helping to ensure the progress of its future move to the Innovation District, said the mayor. LakeView Technology Academy is the district’s premier school specializing in science, technology, engineering, and math education.
“We’ve put together a number of different funds going to Unified from the city through different parts of the program,” Antaramian told Kenosha News late Thursday night. “It’s moving forward and I think you’ll see it happen.”
Of the $15 million in state stimulus funds, he said $1 million is for the proposed LakeView Technology Academy project. Including state funding, the city is committing approximately $4 million to the project, with just over $3 million in federal stimulus funds and TIF resources combined, for the establishment of the high school on the new site, he said.
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“The funding we need is available at this point,” Antaramian said.
City and Kenosha Unified officials have been in discussions since last spring about how to incorporate the academy, currently at 9449 88th Ave. in Pleasant Prairie, in the proposed Innovation District site. The district, the Kenosha Area Business Alliance, and Gateway Technical College researched where the academy could relocate to accommodate future growth, eventually moving out of the building it shares on Gateway Technical College’s satellite campus.
“I have full confidence in the school district and what it will do. This is a wonderful opportunity for the community and a tremendous opportunity for the city and county to really step up for our young people,” did he declare. “I just think all of the partners – the school district, KABA, Gateway… we’re all going to help create a tremendous opportunity for young people.”
The city’s Innovation District proposal aims to transform the 107-acre former Chrysler Engine Plant property east of 30th Avenue between 52nd and 60th Streets into an innovation hub. The property lay dormant for over a decade. The project envisions an innovation hub – a 60,000 square foot “incubator” for new start-ups – with an intrinsic connection to surrounding neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are: Lincoln, Columbus, McKinley, Wilson, Roosevelt and Uptown. also intended to provide opportunities not only for education, but also for workforce training, entrepreneurial development, and job placement in high-growth digital and STEM fields.
Last summer, the city applied for the $15 million in state stimulus funds after the Republican-dominated state legislature balked at reintroducing the $9.75 million earmarked for the district. of innovation that were originally proposed in Evers’ version of the Wisconsin biennial budget.
School board president Yolanda Santos Adams, in a statement on the district’s social media Thursday night, said she was looking forward to the project finally becoming a reality.
“Kenosha Unified is honored to be part of this forward-thinking partnership that will bring Kenosha’s Innovation District to our community,” said Adams. “This project allows the district to expand LakeView Technology Academy, giving more families the opportunity to participate in this incredible science, technology, engineering, and math school of choice. We look forward to seeing this come to fruition and the positive impact it will have on our students, families and community.
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