St. Ambrose Catholic school to share space with residential apartments

Nicholas Garton:

St. Ambrose Academy, a Catholic school in Madison, will be the new anchor tenant in the Holy Name Heights apartment building despite residents’ concerns about safety.

Holy Name Heights is a mixed-use apartment building, which will have the school on the first two floors and existing residential apartments on the third floor. It is a unique arrangement in that St. Ambrose will be the only full-time school sharing a building space with a residential apartment in the city. The center has about 58 residential units.

Madison’s Plan Commission last week approved a zoning modification to allow St. Ambrose to move into the building, which is on the west side at 702-726 S. High Point Road and 601-701 S. Junction Road. The building, originally a seminary, is owned by the Madison Catholic Diocese.

St. Ambrose plans to convert over 23,000 square feet of space previously used by Catholic Charities on the first and second floors of the building, and use a pool and gymnasium that are also in the building.

St. Ambrose, currently housed at 3 Point Place also on the west side, has 187 students but representatives from the school said they might expand enrollment once in the new space. The school is for students in grades 6-12 and provides what St. Ambrose leaders call a traditional Catholic classical education.