Construction Underway For The New DHFCA High School and Middle School
Founded in 2004 by eight notable pastors, the Dr. Howard Fuller Academy (DHFCA) is a tuition free, non-profit, public charter school open to all students in the City of Milwaukee which celebrates the value of each students’ learning strengths, differences, identities, and voices. The Academy currently serves 330 high school scholars, most of whom reside on the north side of Milwaukee, receive free and reduced lunch, and will be the first in their families to attend college.
Originally known as the Milwaukee Collegiate Academy, DHFCA was renamed in 2019 to honor student advocate and Board Chair Emeritus Dr. Howard Fuller.
The Academy’s mission is to “nurture scholars capable of transforming their world by sending them to and through college”. With this mission in mind, an astonishing 100% of the Academy’s graduates have been accepted to college since 2012, while 23% of eligible students earned college credit through dual enrollment opportunities with their partners at UWM, MATC, and Gateway Technical College.
Breaking Ground on a Brighter Future
On November 15th, 2022 FCI team members attended a groundbreaking ceremony at the Black Holocaust Museum in Milwaukee celebrating the construction kick-off of the brand new state-of-the-art high school.
“This is a glorious day,” commented Dr. Howard Fuller at the event, “I appreciate that it’s not really about me, it’s about that it’s about us. So, even though this school is being built for DHFCA, it’s really being built for the black community in the city of Milwaukee.”
In late April and early May, FCI finalized $15M in NMTC investments supporting the Academy, including $11M in the new HFCA High School and a $4M investment in the DHCFA Middle School project.
Big Project, Bigger Impact
The new High School location will increase the Academy’s reach, expanding its capacity to serve over 500 high school scholars. It will boast best in class amenities and spaces for educational instruction as well as add an additional 10 full-time employees to its current full-time staff of 43.
The current High School location will receive a complete makeover and become the site of the brand-new HCFA Middle School. As part of the middle school project:
- 32 new full-time positions will be created, all of which all will earn at least a living wage
- 47% of all staff will be filled by minority individuals
- 330 middle school seats will be made available in the next seven years
- HFCA estimates that 99.1% will be filled by minority students, 90% of which will be eligible for free or reduced lunch
The importance of DHFCA to the north-side of Milwaukee is undeniable. Milwaukee is widely known to have the greatest achievement gap in the state. “I’m excited for what this expansion means for the future of Milwaukee. I’m excited about what the expansion means for opportunities for Milwaukee’s youth,” remarked Milwaukee Mayor Cavilier Johnson, who attended the groundbreaking event.
As a public charter school, Wisconsin state funding supports only 80% of DHFCA’s operating expenses. DHFCA relies on donations and support from the community to provide their scholars access to an exceptional education, hands-on learning and innovative programs. To find out more about how you can support DHFCA, please visit their website.
We look forward to watching the new DHFCA facilities come to life in the coming months. FCI is honored to be part of the financing and development team for this critical project which includes:
- NMTC Investor US Bank
- co-CDE Civic Builders
- Royal Capital Group
- CG Schmidt
- JCP Construction
- Engberg Anderson Architects
FCI has been awarded and deployed over $145MM in Qualified Low-Income Community loans as part of the NMTC program to nonprofit partners and local community stakeholders throughout Wisconsin, like DHFCA. Learn more about our NMTC program here.