Opening of St. Augustine Prep on former Cardinal Stritch campus postponed 1 year

Ramirez Family Foundation investing $100M in Milwaukee north side school

Cardinal Stritch Sign
After more than 85 years, Milwaukee’s Cardinal Stritch University will close at the end of its spring semester in May. President Dan Scholz said the news is devastating for students, employees and the community but declining enrollment and “fiscal realities” left no alternative. Evan Casey/WPR

St. Augustine Preparatory Academy’s north campus in Fox Point is being postponed a year, following school leaders’ assessment of  buildings at the former Cardinal Stritch University site. 

The new campus will open in fall 2026 with just over 300 students. The campus will include an elementary school program for students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade, along with a high school that will only accept ninth graders in its first year.

The school plans to grow to eventually serve more than 1,000 students.

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The $100 million project, funded primarily by the Ramirez Family Foundation, will involve demolishing several buildings dating back to the 1960s, according to a press release. 

The redevelopment plan pushes the opening date for the school, to be known as Aug Prep North, from fall 2025 to fall 2026. 

“This fall, we encountered and grappled with unexpected, significant additional costs for the project,” Gus Ramirez said in a statement. “At the end of the day, we remain deeply committed to the vision and promise of this school.”

The Ramirez Foundation purchased the Cardinal Stritch campus in July 2023 for $24 million. At the time, Ramirez, the former CEO of Waukesha-based Husco International, said the foundation had been looking for a way to open a school to serve students on Milwaukee’s north side. 

The Ramirez family opened St. Augustine Preparatory Academy, also known as Aug Prep, in 2017 on Milwaukee’s south side. 

In August, Aug Prep opened a second, $49 million building to expand its capacity at the 4K through 12th grade campus. The south campus will grow to serve more than 2,400 students over the next three school years.

Plans for the north campus will be released later this year. But preliminary details include STEM labs, music and fine arts spaces as well as athletics facilities including a new fieldhouse, a turf soccer field and an outdoor track, according to the press release. 

The campus will also include facilities for college and career readiness and health care.

“We firmly believe that a high-quality education is the single most important factor resulting in economic prosperity and career options,” Gus Ramirez said in a statement.