Sugar Creek site RFP by Verona CDA

A community center and a pool are among the preferred options in the city’s request to developers for proposals for the site where Sugar Creek Elementary School is located today.

The deadline for proposals for the redevelopment of the Sugar Creek site along West Verona Avenue has been extended until April 27.

The deadline is among many in the city being postponed due to the spread of COVID-19. The worldwide outbreak of the illness has resulted in the closing of several city government facilities.

The 12.2-acre redevelopment site, which contains Sugar Creek Elementary and New Century schools and smaller private properties, is targeted for redevelopment after the Verona Area School District abandons it at the end of this school year.

The city issued a call for proposals starting Jan. 7, and it gave tours of the site in February.

The 10-page document asks for plans that provide “public access and amenities to help drive pedestrian traffic and retain its historic character.” City leaders have stated they want to keep the 102 year old NCS building standing, and the scoring system in the document gives preference to proposals that would attempt to list the building on the National Register of Historic Places.

The document states projects must use high-quality design and materials, ensure safe and efficient traffic circulation, create diverse uses that complement existing options in the city and make a “creative rehabilitation” of the New Century building. They also must conform to the sustainability resolution the city passed in April 2019, which addresses future construction, building retrofits, vehicle upgrades, conserving and preserving natural areas and resources and designing infrastructure to deal with the possibility of more extreme flooding and weather events.

The redevelopment document lists commercial, residential and public uses as preferred and states public spaces could include a community center for seniors, active adults and students and/or a pool.

The city’s Community Development Authority, an arm of the local government that leads urban renewal projects, solicited feedback on plans for the site in the fall of 2019 with an open house.

The University of Milwaukee’s student-run Community Development Solutions design firm created possible concepts indicated in the city’s request.

The concepts include a mixed-use town center style space with a community center and park, a community pool, and a collaborative public working area known as a makerspace, according to the documents created by CDS.

Renee Hickman can be contacted at renee.hickman@wcinet.com or follow her on Twitter at @ReneeNHickman