Mount Mary Plans $45 Million Complex
Single mother students, sisters and seniors will live together in 166-unit housing complex.
The $45 million complex will provide housing for the sisters of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, including assisted living units, as well as housing for single mothers attending the university and their children. An early childhood education center is also planned for the complex, available to residents, staff and the community.
“These women often have various obstacles to getting an education,” said university president Christine Pharr. She said on-campus housing would address housing, transportation and child-care issues as well as other obstacles.
Many of the sisters are Mount Mary graduates said Pharr. The university was founded as a ministry of the School Sisters in 1913 and moved to its 80-acre home in Milwaukee in 1929.
Plans call for 52 assisted-living units for sisters who require care, 90 one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments for sisters and other seniors, and 16 to 24 family units for undergraduate single mothers and their children.
The complex would be built on the north side of the university’s campus along W. Burleigh St. Pharr said the woods on the northeast corner of the university’s property near N. 92nd St. and W. Burleigh St. would be maintained. “We think that’s an important part of our aesthetic,” said Pharr.
A three-story “town hall” building, with a gathering space, health clinic, salon and bistro would link the various housing wings. Various amenities in the town hall portion would be open to university students and staff.
The partners are working with Plunkett Raysich Architects on the complex’s design. Senior Housing Partners is serving as the partners’ owner’s representative. BB&T Capital Markets is working on the bond’s issuance.
Milwaukee Catholic Home, which manages the Elm Grove property for the sisters, will manage the order’s portion of the new complex. Artifacts from the current complex will be incorporated into the new development.
Sister Debra Sciano, provincial leader for the School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Providence, said future plans for the Elm Grove campus would be released when appropriate.
Approximately 60 full-time equivalent jobs are expected to be created from the project, said Pharr.
The College of St. Mary in Ohama, NE, where Pharr previously served as an administrator, is one of a handful of institutions to offer housing specifically for single mothers. The move to bring a religious order back to campus mirrors projects by other universities and orders including St. Catherine University.
Mount Mary university has 1,404 students, including 807 female undergraduate and 597 co-ed graduate students.
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