UNION GROVE — School Yard Park officially beat out Leider Park as the location for the village’s future entertainment stage.
When the project was first presented in late February, a preliminary timeline indicated that a location would be decided upon by March and construction would take place from May through August.
The project will go out to bid this summer but a new construction timeline has not been established.
“We are going to make every effort to complete the project this year,” Village Administrator Michael Hawes said in an email.
A $100,000 cultural services grant from Racine County will cover most of the costs associated with the stage. Some residents and committee members asked if the grant could instead go toward general park maintenance. The village could have re-applied for the grant under that pretense, but the odds of the county doling out the grant for that purpose were low, Hawes said.
“To repurpose that money, certainly we don’t necessarily want to give that to general maintenance,” Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave said, noting that the grant last year went to the City of Burlington for its community pool.
A village staff memo to the board recommended School Yard Park as the location over Leider Park due to School Yard Park’s existing concession stand and Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant bathrooms and superior walkability. School Yard Park also has only about half the number of residents with 200 feet of the park boundaries that Leider Park does, meaning fewer people have the potential of being affected by noise from the stage.
School Yard Park is located about a block east of Main Street (Highway 45) at 1365 State St, at the site of the former Union Grove Grade School.
The public also preferred School Yard Park, according to an unofficial Facebook poll organized by Jennifer Ditscheit, executive director of the Great Union Grove Area Chamber of Commerce and member of the Stage Site Selection Committee. Of 452 respondents, 60% favored School Yard Park.
The Village Board settled on the location during Monday’s meeting after a protracted decision-making process from the four committees tasked with planning the stage.
The Village Board unanimously approved the preliminary plat for the $35 million Residences at Dunham Grove housing development from Brookfield-based Pre/3. Village trustees Gordon Svendsen and Alan Jelinek were absent.
The 44-acre development, located south of Highway 11 and west of 69th Drive, is planned to have 24 single-family lots ranging from ¼ acre to ¾ acre and 10 apartment buildings with 12 units each on 12 acres. The plat also sets aside 15 acres for the second phase of development, which would include 40 additional single-family homes.
In April, the village approved a developer’s agreement for the Residences at Dunham Grove. Another round of applications is expected for the June 3 Plan Commission meeting, which will also have a public hearing period.
The plat approval is conditional on the submittal of other applications and some other adjustments based on feedback from village officials. They need to be addressed before the June 3 meeting, Village President Mike Aimone said.