Milwaukee’s Neeskara Elementary School Unearths Hidden Treasures in Redevelopment Project

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – A local school undergoing redevelopment has unearthed a number of unique and ancient finds.

CBS 58 takes us to Neeskara Elementary School in northwest Milwaukee, where the project’s developers have had a blast from the past.

“Yes, completely unexpected,” said Heather Dietzel, sustainability project manager for Milwaukee Public Schools.

Dietzel says that’s her reaction when she and her team stumble across toys that hold decades of memories.

Dietzel carefully showed off the toy find, listing the findings: “Police wagons, cruisers are pretty cool too, a few pieces – a place to stash something.”

These memories were unlocked during the final phase of the Green and Healthy Schoolyard Redevelopment Project.

“We had to get a contractor to cut the locks and that’s when we found the toys that hadn’t been seen for quite some time,” Dietzel said.

The redevelopment project was estimated at nearly a million dollars over a three-year period, but Dietzel says the memories are worth a lot more.

“Some of these pieces got stuck in the asphalt, we had to pull them out.”

Heather has carefully shown the drawings for the project, which she says will benefit the school and community members.

“The sidewalk has holes for rainwater and an area where kids can relax and get ready to learn.”

A project would not be possible without the additional help of community partners: MMSD, City of Milwaukee, Department of Public Works, City of Milwaukee Ecology Office and more.

Primary school students also joined hands to beautify.

“They do coin wars, they sell bricks with names engraved on them that will be put on the playing field.”

A playground that is clearly used from generation to generation.

The project is expected to be completed this fall for students and the community to enjoy their new space.

The school plans to preserve the toys for current students to admire for years to come.

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