Three possible options for redeveloping the land where Sugar Creek Elementary School is now are getting a public vetting next week.
A month after getting feedback from the Community Development Authority, a student-run design firm is presenting its new maps and renderings in an open house Thursday, Aug. 22, at Verona City Center. The open house runs 5-7 p.m., and the CDA will follow with its monthly meeting.
The West Verona Avenue property will be transferred from the Verona Area School District to the city after fall 2020, when the district’s new high school brings about a shuffling of several school buildings.
Last month, discussions over four initial design concepts yielded enthusiasm for an outdoor community pool, as well as mixing it with park space and amenities, apartment units and some commercial property. There was also interest in a community center.
Each of the three concepts Community Development Solutions will present has a band shell, pickleball courts, a park play area and green space. And all have apartments and/or townhomes.
One of the concepts includes a community center, about 35,000 square feet of commercial space and a park but no pool. Another includes a pool and community center but far fewer residential units. The third has a larger park and 65,000 square feet of retail but no community center and no pool.
The concept plan includes more land than the city has so far planned to acquire. Among the privately owned land in the concept area are two houses, a printing shop, a salon and the former Michael’s and Treads restaurant property. It also includes New Century School, which must be left intact by the terms of the city’s agreement with the school district.
The CDA is an arm of city government that takes the lead on some housing and urban renewal projects. The last major project it undertook was construction of the Sugar Creek Apartments in the 1990s, coincidentally adjacent to the VASD site. It was also involved in 2015-16 in the planning the future of the Matts house, which ended up being restored privately.
Community development manager Dayna Sarver cautioned that the ornate renderings that will be presented are not necessarily the designs of the building but will demonstrate building height and feel.
“This will be an opportunity for community stakeholders to provide feedback on the concept designs,” she wrote in an email to the Press.