Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service

Will New Facility Help Develop North Avenue?

St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care, long successful on South Side, will build new facility and campus at 24th and North.

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The new North Side campus of the St. Ann Center will include medical and dental clinics, classrooms, an indoor lap pool and an intergenerational playground. (Photo by Molly Rippinger)

The new North Side campus of the St. Ann Center will include medical and dental clinics, classrooms, an indoor lap pool and an intergenerational playground. (Photo by Molly Rippinger)

For the past five years, Linda Merrill has found friendship and a strong sense of purpose at the St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care.

“I come here for the companionship,” said Merrill, 66.

As a client enrolled in the adult day services, Merrill takes a van service from her home in Oak Creek to the center on 2801 E. Morgan Ave. three times per week. Merrill said she enjoys having the chance to engage with people and partake in daily activities that range from art projects to massage therapy.

“This is a good place,” explained Merrill, who said she suffered from depression and loneliness prior to her enrollment at St. Ann’s. “Here, there’s always something to do.”

At the groundbreaking for the new St. Ann Center, Alderman Russell Stamper spoke about the positive impact it will have on the community. (Photo by Molly Rippinger)

At the groundbreaking for the new St. Ann Center, Alderman Russell Stamper spoke about the positive impact it will have on the community. (Photo by Molly Rippinger)

St. Ann’s is now expanding to the North Side. The new Bucyrus Campus will be built on a 7.5-acre plot at 24th Street and North Avenue. Community members, funders and St. Ann Center staff recently gathered at the site for a ceremonial groundbreaking.

Founded in 1983 by Sister Edna Lonergan and the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi, the St. Ann Center offers an intergenerational approach to health and education services for adults and children. The South Side center, which was built in 1999, serves more than 200 children, older adults and people with disabilities each day.

The North Side center will cater to the needs of local residents, said Lonergan, president of the St. Ann Center. “It will be run and operated by the neighborhood, for no one understands the needs of this neighborhood more than the people who live here.”

The two-story building will provide 80,000 square feet of space, which will be used for a multipurpose, intergenerational care facility. Inside, the campus will include a medical clinic, dental clinic, wellness program and classrooms, as well as an indoor lap pool and intergenerational playground. Exterior plans include a 500-seat band shell, playgrounds and community gardens.

“This is a new beginning for this community,” noted Alderman Russell Stamper at the groundbreaking. “The St. Ann Center will be an anchor to jump start more development.”

Lonergan said that the center will bring an estimated 200 jobs to the North Side community and will provide services for more than 400 people each day.

“Seeing this mission come to the neighborhood is absolutely incredible,” said Lorraine Burroughs, a volunteer for the Milwaukee County Commission on Aging.

The $20.5 million project will be completed in two phases, with the first phase scheduled for completion by September 2015.

“What St. Ann’s does is miraculous,” said Mayor Tom Barrett. “And this is something we need more of in our community.”

This story was originally published by Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, where you can find other stories reporting on fifteen city neighborhoods in Milwaukee.

2 thoughts on “Will New Facility Help Develop North Avenue?”

  1. smh says:

    Man, when was the last time someone invested $20 million into that neighborhood? Just that kind of investment alone is going to be a boom to that area of the city. So great to see!

  2. angela pruitt says:

    It seems to be a great opportunity for those in need of these services for those who live in the community or not. The impact I am looking for it to make is the walk to work idea there are so many in need of jobs in this area that something like this should be more available to address the unemployment in the area so that we can have a better neighborhood to live in and work in

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