Anselmo Villarreal's vision for the future of La Casa de Esperanza is coming alive.

The Waukesha Plan Commission recently approved the final site and architectural plans for a charter school expansion at La Casa, 410 Arcadian Ave., that will add 43,452 square feet to the organization's current site.

The plans call for a three-story addition to the existing building to accommodate the growing charter school, which opened last fall with 88 students for 4- and 5-year-old kindergarten classes.

Construction of the addition, which is anticipated to be open by September 2017, is the first in a three-phase $8 million capital campaign to build a state-of-the-art school, according to Villarreal, La Casa's chief operating officer.

Commissioners granted unanimous approval to the charter school design plans, and two other procedural items — a street vacation and a certified survey map — for La Casa.

New addition

The charter school, which is independent from the Waukesha School District, plans to add grade levels each year. With more students expected to attend the school, more space was needed.

The first phase of the project, for classrooms through fifth grade, is expected to cost $3.5 million.

The addition would append 11,504 square feet of space to the existing building. With the parking space, the three-story building's total area includes about 43,500 square feet.

The top floor of the new building will house office and administrative space, according to City Planner Doug Koehler, and first and second floors will be used as classroom space.

The $2 million second phase of the capital project includes finishing the interior floors.

The third phase, which will cost about $2.5 million, will include a 20,000-square-foot building to the north for more classroom space for grades six through eight as well as additional office space. Villarreal has said he hopes to have that open by September 2021.

The initial addition would extend north along Caroline Street with parking in the back of the building. The site will include a redesigned parking lot with 38 parking spaces as well as a circular dropoff/pickup lane.

La Casa

La Casa de Esperanza, a nonprofit, was established in 1966. The organization's goal is to provide opportunities within the community to achieve social and economic participation in society, with an emphasis on the Hispanic population.

The organization serves more than 20,000 individuals and families through its programs and services.

Last year, La Casa celebrated its 50th year of service in the Waukesha area.

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