Journey to Trenton

Ozaukee Christian School purchased the a former strip club in the Town of Trenton from California-based Spearmint Rhino with plans to occupy the building by the start of the 2019-2020 school year.

The unusual building conversion is an answer to prayer that ended a years-long search for a building to call our own.

OCS — a non-denominational Christian school founded in 1990 — has leased several locations over the years. We’ve partnered with Portview Christian Church in Port Washington, Friedens Church in Port Washington, and most recently with St. John XXIII in Saukville for 19 years.

“We have felt God leading us to a building of our own that will allow us to grow, to expand our ability to work with special needs children and to reach more families in Washington County, all the while maintaining strong ties with our families in Ozaukee County,” said Kris Austin, OCS Administrator.

We purchased a strip mall that includes the former Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen’s Club that we have renovated into classrooms, offices, a cafeteria and a multi-purpose room. This initial phase allowed us to serve 125 students, double the school's enrollment at the time. Future additions will include a gym with stage and locker rooms, and a new classroom wing, allowing growth up to 250 students.

“God has given the leadership of OCS a big vision for growth while providing us what we need for each step of this project,” said Dave Swartz, OCS Board President.
We are trusting God to provide the funds for this project, just as He cleared the way for us to buy this building. We have raised $425,000 so far and are seeking a total of $2.2 million to complete the purchase and initial renovation of the property.

How It Came to Be
After looking at over 80 different properties, several school leaders became independently aware the property in January 2017, and after visiting the site we felt it could be a great fit. We reached out to Spearmint but were initially told they weren’t interested in selling. In July 2017, however, the company reached out and offered to sell the building. We began meeting with architects and contractors to determine how this property could fit the school’s needs. After completing preliminary plans, we launched an initial fundraising drive in April 2018 to gain support for this project. In the meantime, we have done prayer walks at the property with staff, parents and alumni. Students regularly gathered to pray for the process along with a group of 140 “email prayer warriors” doing the same.

After months of phone conversations, emails and the abundant prayers of God’s people, we were blessed with a signed purchase offer. We have enjoyed getting to know Mr. Peter Garrell (attorney for Spearmint) and Ms. Joann Castillo (senior executive assistant) over these many months — and praying with them as well. It is a journey unlike anything we could have imagined. It is a story that only God could write.

Local News Coverage
Christian school finds new home in former strip club - wisn.com
Christian school finds new home in former strip club - jsonline.com