Forest County Potawotomi Community of Wisconsin

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The Indian Community School of Milwaukee plans to move to a new building in suburban Franklin in hopes of becoming a national model for American Indian education in urban areas. It will be financed with an endowment from the tribe, which operates the state's only off-reservation Indian gambling hall. Linda Warner, school executive director, said April 17 the new building will be designed to teach American Indian students academics and cultural lessons in a unique structure that uses open space, natural woodlands and other land features to instill respect for the land on which it is built. Warner said school officials decided constructing a new school would be more practical than continuing to spend money to improve the building leased in Milwaukee for a decade. About 320 students in 4-year-old kindergarten through eighth grade will be enrolled, and a high school and preschool eventually will be added, Warner said. Gary Zimmerman, president of Zimmerman Design Group, which is to handle the building project, said the design would use all natural materials while turning the property's wetlands and woodlands into outdoor classrooms. "It's going to be a union with the land and buildings more so than any other type of educational facility," Zimmerman said. There will be a hearing on the rezoning request.