You are here

RUSD Makes History, Breaks Ground on Three New Schools!


The week of Aug. 17 marked history in Racine Unified School District as it broke ground on three new schools!

Next fall, the doors on the brand new Olympia Brown Elementary School, Knapp Elementary School and Gifford Middle School will open to hundreds of eager students and staff, marking the first new schools built in RUSD in more than 40 years.

During the celebrations, students, staff and families gathered for the official groundbreaking as shovels ceremoniously hit the dirt where the new schools will stand. Principals, elected officials and District administration thanked the community for its support of the November referendum and expressed enthusiasm for the future.

“We are so excited and we know our students are so excited as we watch our new middle school being built before our eyes,” Gifford Elementary School Principal Les Hunt told the crowd at the groundbreaking ceremony held Wednesday. “Look around and you see these fifth graders standing next to you, these kids will be the first class to start and end in the new school and that is something to celebrate.”

“I can’t thank the community enough for coming together and supporting the referendum,” Knapp Elementary School Principal Tangella King said. “This school is for the community, a one of a kind experience for our kids to get a solid education.”

“It’s an exciting day for everyone as we stand here and celebrate history,” Olympia Brown Principal Zach Jacobsmeier told the crowd. “I have already gotten a lot of questions from students about the school, there’s no doubt that they are excited!”

The new Olympia Brown Elementary School will be a science-focused school where students will get hands-on learning and experience to better prepare them for careers of the future. Knapp Elementary School will be the first ever community school in Racine Unified. Partnering with the United Way of Racine County, Knapp will offer an integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development and community engagement in an effort to improve student learning and build stronger families. Gifford Elementary School will become a K-8 school with the addition of 77,620 square feet of learning space!