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Alexander Company wins contract to build new Neighborhood House Community Center

Photo courtesy Neighborhood House Community Center.

Neighborhood House Community Center (NHCC), Madison’s oldest community center serving the Greenbush Neighborhood for over 106 years, has come to an agreement with local developer Alexander Company to construct a new community center and mixed-use, mixed-income community on the site of the current Neighborhood House Community Center at 29 S. Mills Street, according to a press release. 

“Our aging facility is in need of significant upgrades in order to grow our programming and continue to provide the level of service our community has come to rely on,” Executive Director Laura Gundlach said in a statement. “We believe this new development – which includes the construction of a new community center and multiple stories of affordable housing on the existing Neighborhood House site – will not only benefit our users but will also secure Neighborhood House’s future for another 100 years.” 

“This redevelopment will dramatically increase the scale and scope of programming and services that Neighborhood House can offer the community,” NHCC Board of Directors Chair Samuel Brown said in a statemebt. “Neighborhood House has a diverse array of users, from college students, neighbors, toddlers to teens, seniors, and individuals in need of supportive services. This new building will allow us to broaden and better serve all these communities. We are excited to construct a new community center that we hope will enrich the lives of everyone who calls downtown and South Madison home.” 

Neighborhood House was founded in 1916 when a University of Wisconsin student proposed the creation of a community center to serve Madison’s rapidly growing Italian, Jewish and African American immigrant communities. His senior thesis inspired city leaders to create NHCC as Madison’s first settlement house. 

Today, NHCC serves hundreds of families and individuals weekly with an in-person food pantry, produce handouts, and community meals. The organization provides hundreds of elementary, middle, and high school students with a completely free summer youth camp and daily after school care. Hundreds of individuals utilize the center’s free law clinic and transportation assistance. The center also offers a free weekly social club for adults with disabilities, adult enrichment and language classes, senior fitness, and community events. In addition to its own programs and services, Neighborhood House is also home to a diverse array of community groups. 

NHCC officials said they anticipate that construction will commence in late 2024. Neighborhood House is also in the very early stages of preparing a capital campaign to support the new center.