Dane County Allocates $6.85 Million for Centro Hispano’s New Home

May 23, 2023
Ariana Vruwink, 608-267-8823
County Executive

Today, County Executive Joe Parisi joined Centro Hispano Executive Director Karen Menendez Coller, Findorff representatives, and community supporters to highlight Dane County’s allocation of $6.85 million to support the construction of Centro Hispano’s new and improved home at the corner of Cypress Way and Hughes Place—just around the corner from where its headquarters is currently located.

Last week, the County Board approved two resolutions to help fund Centro Hispano’s new facility. One allocated $2 million through Dane County’s American Rescue Plan Act funds—originally announced in Parisi’s 2022 budget proposal. The other accepted $4.85 million from the State of Wisconsin’s Neighborhood Investment Fund. Dane County applied for the state grant on Centro's behalf for this project and was awarded $4.85 million that will be put towards Centro’s construction costs.

“Since it first opened its doors 40 years ago, Centro Hispano’s work has had a profound impact on the Dane County community,” said County Executive Joe Parisi. “By growing with Dane County, Centro will be able to expand its services to even more people. We are excited to support this project and look forward to the opportunities the new space will provide, as Centro celebrates four decades of service and looks toward the future.”

Centro is the leading non-profit, social service organization in Dane County, delivering direct services to the community’s fast growing Latinx population. Under the leadership of Karen Menendez Coller, Centro has been a key partner in providing immigrants in the Dane County community a sense of home, a place to gather, create, and celebrate. The county’s early involvement in the expansion project has helped Centro Hispano leverage support from a wide range of entities.

“We appreciate Dane County’s early efforts to help make our vision for a new home become reality,” said Menendez Coller. “Centro has a 40-year history of uplifting and strengthening the local community, and we look forward to expanding on that legacy with a new building that has the space and resources for our staff and those we serve to thrive.”

Centro helps thousands of individuals each year, with everything from basic needs to job training and after school programming. Centro’s new building will allow for increased safety for staff and the community, sustainability in building design, enhanced accessibility, and more square footage. The project will include space for workforce training programs as well as new staff space that will allow Centro Hispano to double the number of partner schools they work with to increase skills for the Latinx community.

Dane County’s $6.85 million in funding will be applied towards the total campaign goal of $20.4 million. The new building’s design will be inspired by Centro’s “the rhythm of the Plaza” and by Calli, the symbol of the campaign. When seen from above, the building will be shaped like Calli, and the symbol will appear in many architectural details throughout the space. The new Centro will also be a place for the Southside and greater Madison area to gather in outdoor settings that encourage community building. The site will include a fountain, outdoor market space, and a parking lot that converts into an outdoor play area.