/ MICHAEL BURKE
Mick Burke / Journal Times file photo
The site that will become Foxconn Place Racine and Wisconn
Valley Innovation Center, 1 Main St., in Downtown Racine. Foxconn
says it will take the vacant half of the building, and the
commercial tenants will be welcome to stay.
RACINE — Foxconn Technology Group’s plan to create an innovation center in Downtown Racine called Foxconn Place Racine will not displace any of the building’s current tenants, the company said Monday.
In response to inquiries from The Journal Times, Taiwan-based Foxconn elaborated on the announcement it made Oct. 2 at a press conference outside of One Main Centre, 1 Main St.
At that event, Foxconn and its government partners announced that Foxconn Place Racine and Wisconn Valley Innovation Center are coming to the three-story, 46,000-square-foot building.
Alan Yeung, Foxconn’s director of U.S. strategic initiatives, told the audience the building will house at least 125 Foxconn employees — but it was unclear how this development might affect the current tenants, if at all: primarily BMO Harris Bank, Baird, Fluid Consultants, Warren Eye Care and Fred Young Jr.
On Monday, Foxconn provided a written statement that read, in part: “Foxconn is in the process of acquiring the One Main Centre building in Downtown Racine and is currently conducting due diligence to ensure the building meets all required standards. It is not our intent to displace any tenants that are in compliance with their lease agreements, and we look forward to exploring long and fruitful relationships with these tenants.”
A spokesman for Baird also said the ownership change will have no effect on the company’s current lease.
Renovations to come
Foxconn further stated Monday: “Following the closing of the purchase and sale transaction, and during the initial stage of development, renovation of vacant areas on the first and second floor shall begin.”
The entire second floor is vacant since Ascension All Saints Hospital removed the clinic it had there. The south end of the first floor, comprising approximately half of that floor, has never been occupied. The result is that Foxconn will occupy half of the building.
“In full compliance with relevant laws and safety regulations, some parts of the building may be required to be vacated during the renovation Foxconn will be working to ensure this renovation effort causes as little disruption to normal business practices as possible. Further information about space deployment will be shared in due course.”
In October, Yeung said Foxconn Place Racine “will encompass a state-of-the-art co-working space but also become a model for smart city pilot programs that will take advantage of and leverage all of the technologies Foxconn will build and enable in Wisconsin.”
Yeung said Foxconn believes its technologies will “catalyze and inspire next-generation ideas in enhancing quality of life, living spaces and working environments.”
During that October event, Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave said the new Downtown center, along with the $10 billion Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park, “will position Racine County as the epicenter … for technology and innovation not just in the state — but in the Midwest.”
“It is not our intent to displace any tenants that are in compliance with their lease agreements, and we look forward to exploring long and fruitful relationships with these tenants.”Foxconn Technology Group
"It is not our intent to displace any tenants that are in compliance with their lease agreements, and we look forward to exploring long and fruitful relationships with these tenants.”
Jeanne Crawford, who has been a volunteer with Tex Reynolds Toys
for Tots for 24 years, looks Tuesday through collected items to put
together a bag for a little girl. Crawford is in charge of the doll
A collection of extra game pieces is shown on Tuesday at Tex
Reynolds Toys for Tots, which is located in the basement of the
Racine City Hall Annex, 800 Center St. The collection is useful
whenever someone turns in a board game with missing pieces.
RACINE — Do you ever wonder what happens to those old, beat-up toys you drop off at a Tex Reynolds Toys for Tots site?
At the Racine City Hall Annex, 800 Center St., a crew of nearly 55 volunteers show the toys love, returning them to like-new quality and finding them new homes.
The aim of the program, which began in the 1930s and was named in honor of one of its founding fathers, Journal Times columnist Tex Reynolds, is to provide children in need with refurbished toys.
Volunteers wash baby dolls and Barbies. Their tiny outfits also are washed and mended; some volunteers sew new outfits out of patterns. That old non-working bike becomes king of the sidewalks once again, after the bike crew has fixed it.
Those giant playsets your children grew out of are scrubbed down and left looking like they just came out of the box. Those board games your family stopped playing are reunited with missing pieces, and sent to a new family who will enjoy them.
It’s a regular Santa’s Workshop as used toys are rehabilitated and find new, appreciative owners.
“We can take some interesting stuff and make it new,” said Pete Waselchuk, president of Tex Reynolds Toys for Tots.
Waselchuk, a retired Caledonia fire chief, has been president of the local chapter of Toys for Tots for 10 years now.
He and a crew of 55 volunteers work in the shop. There also are about 35 to 40 volunteers who work from home, doing things such as knitting blankets, sewing Barbie clothes and putting together puzzles to ensure all the pieces are there.
Volunteers rehab dollhouses, collect items, fill and hand out orders, fix bikes, wash and fix toys and electronics, and clean up Barbies and baby dolls.
Jeanne Crawford, a volunteer for 24 years, is in charge of the doll area. She and her crew make sure all the donated baby dolls are clean and clothed, and each child receiving a package gets a little something extra with their gifts, including dress-up clothes, jewelry and purses.
“We try to use whatever we get in,” Crawford said.
Helping those in need
Starting Oct. 2, families in need came down to Toys for Tots to fill out an application for gifts. Applicants include the number of children for whom Toys for Tots volunteers will find matching gifts. Applicants also get to chose one “big” gift, such as a bike or playset.
Tuesday was the last day for families to sign up for the program.
“We’ll have over 450 families who all will have a Christmas,” Waselchuk said.
On Jan. 8, they will start all over again for Christmas 2019. It takes volunteer crews all year to prepare for the holiday.
Donations of used toys are accepted at the City Hall Annex between 8 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., Tuesday through Thursday; and also are accepted at any area fire station or at Kortendick Ace Hardware, 3806 Douglas Ave., Racine.
RACINE — Due to a malfunction with a motor on our printing press early Tuesday morning, The Journal Times was unable to print Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s issues at our Downtown Racine site. The Journal Times was instead printed in Munster, Ind., the site of one of our Lee Enterprises sister papers.
Because of this last-minute change, The Journal Times was unable to deliver the paper to subscribers on Tuesday morning. Our Wednesday issue also was printed early in Munster.
The Tuesday and Wednesday issues have unusual configurations and are missing some of our usual features. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience.
Elmwood Park sues EverGreen Academy
/ ADAM ROGAN
ADAM ROGAN, Journal Times file photo
This building at 3131 Taylor Ave. was used from 2014-2018 as an
elementary school by EverGreen Academy. The voucher-only school is
now being sued for over $26,000 by the Village of Elmwood Park for
reported damage to the building.
ELMWOOD PARK — The Village of Elmwood Park is suing EverGreen Academy, the voucher school accused of leaving a rented building in shambles after its lease ended this summer.
RACINE — Elementary voucher students enrolled through the Racine Parental Choice Program last year scored just slightly better on the Forward exam than their public school peers, but high school students in the choice program far outpaced their counterparts at Racine Unified on the ACT.
Elmwood Park claims EverGreen Academy owes the village $26,275 to repair and clean up the building the school had been renting from the village, in addition to several months’ worth of lost rent.
Currently, the total amount Elmwood Park would be seeking could cost EverGreen more than $40,000.
The building, located within the village-owned Taylor Complex, 3131 Taylor Ave., was used by EverGreen as an elementary school from summer 2014 until the lease ended on June 30, 2018.
The estimate of $26,275 was provided by B2C Enterprises, which also lists its address within the Taylor Complex. Billy McCollum represented B2C at a September Elmwood Park Village Board meeting. McCollum also owns Crown Jewel Academy day care, which lists the same address as B2C Enterprises.
ELMWOOD PARK — After initially only agreeing to pay half, EverGreen Academy has agreed to pay upwards of $20,000 to clean up and repair the village-owned building, 3131 Taylor Ave., that had housed its elementary school from 2014.
Elmwood Park filed its lawsuit on Oct. 30, and EverGreen has until Dec. 14 to respond. If the school doesn’t respond, Racine County Circuit Court Judge Eugene Gasiorkiewicz may then issue a judgment.
Kathy Wells, Elmwood Park village president, declined to comment on the lawsuit. EverGreen founder Grant Meier did not reply to an email seeking comment.
According to EverGreen’s now-expired lease, the school was allowed to remodel the building, but the lawsuit claims that renovations were not carried out “in a workmanlike manner.”
The lawsuit claims the linoleum floors in the bathrooms need to be replaced because of damage; that multiple toilets, sinks and urinals were removed, but concrete used to fill in the gaps was not poured evenly; and holes were left in the ceiling.
B2C’s estimate also claims that thousands of dollars worth of cleaning is needed, including removing wires hanging from walls, cleaning and disinfecting almost every room, replacing cushions on hallway ottomans and removing mold from basement floors and carpeting.
EverGreen also installed several window air-conditioning units and vents during its tenancy. When the school moved out, it took the units but didn’t replace the windows or repair the holes in the walls, according to the lawsuit. Fixing that would cost another $2,120, B2C estimated.
ELMWOOD PARK — One Elmwood Park Village Board meeting, one board member walkout, one resignation.
Why hasn’t EverGreen paid?
When Meier spoke to The Journal Times in September, he said he felt the estimate far exceeded the real cost to clean the building. The school reportedly offered $10,000, but the Village Board rejected that.
Meier also took issue with the school being asked to pay for painting several of the rooms, which B2C estimated would cost around $4,500.
ELMWOOD PARK — The dust has not yet settled between EverGreen Academy and the Village of Elmwood Park regarding the state of a building the elementary school had leased from the village.
The lawsuit states the damage to the walls was “beyond that caused by normal wear and tear,” which is why the walls purportedly need to be repainted.
According to the lease, EverGreen was paying $3,296 monthly plus utilities to use the building when the lease ended. As part of the lawsuit, Elmwood Park is asking EverGreen to pay for several months’ worth of lost rent, because the village hasn’t shown the building to potential renters in its current state.
EverGreen is still renting one building from Elmwood Park. Its middle school is operated at 3554 Taylor Ave.
EverGreen’s new elementary school, custom-built at 3351 Chicory Road, opened in August.
What is EverGreen being asked to pay?
What the Village of Elmwood Park is seeking from EverGreen Academy in regard to damage and waste at the building the school once rented from the village:
$4,500: Paint lower level
$4,100: Disinfect, sanitize, shampoo floors of four large rooms
$3,500: Semigloss paint of upper level
$2,400: Repair/replace two damaged areas of cement flooring
$2,200: Replace about 400 square feet of linoleum tiles in two bathrooms
$2,000: Install window replacements where air-conditioning units had been
$1,800: Clean, wax, shampoo floors of six upper-level rooms
$1,200: Clean, wax, disinfect and/or shampoo floors of six lower-level rooms
$1,000:Sanitize, wax and paint entryway, hallways and stairwells
$600: Cover plumbing holes with ceiling tiles in basement
$480: Equipment rentals
$475: Disinfect, sanitize three bathrooms
$450: Remove free-hanging cables, wires
$350: Disinfect kitchen surfaces
$325: Vacuum residue from windows, walls
$300: Disinfect, sanitize mudroom
$225: Repair/replace ottoman covers
$125: Remove foam board, tape residue attached to lower-level walls