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Sussex picks committee for YMCA project

June 3, 2014

Sussex — The village board has created a 12 member Civic Campus Advisory Committee responsible for helping to implement a proposed joint development agreement, which has never been discussed publicly, that provides for the construction of an approximately 75,000-square-foot YMCA facility and a 45,000-square-foot village hall on the existing municipal government campus on Main Street.

The village will contribute $7 million dollars to the $14 million facility that will include two gymnasiums, a fitness center, swimming facilities and space for various other recreational and community activities. The YMCA of Central Waukesha County will be responsible for raising the remaining $7 million for construction of the facility expected to begin in 2017, according to a proposed agreement between the Y and the village.

The village board apparently informally approved, during a closed session on May 15, the memorandum of understanding approved by the YMCA board of directors on April 15 that spells out the terms of the agreement.

Village officials have also announced plans to construct a $7 million, three-story Civic Center that will be adjacent to the new Y facility. The Y, the civic center, and the existing Pauline Haass Library building are expected to connected by a series of interior corridors. The civic center is also expected to include additional space for the library.

The role of the Civic Campus Advisory Committee is to "analyze the specific space needs for a civic campus, study the relevant options, partners, and objectives for the civic campus, and work with an architectural firm, engineering firm, other design professionals, village staff, and key partners to design the civic campus and bring forth a recommendation on the project to the Village Board," according to a memo prepared by Village Administrator Jeremy Smith.

According to Smith, the committee is to "Build off of the recommendations from the Village Hall Facility Study Group...."

The Village Hall Facility Study Group, which was comprised mostly of village residents, recommended in 2011 that the existing village hall structure, a renovated school building estimated to be more than 80 years old, be demolished and replaced by a modern 20,000 feet civic center facility that would incorporate a number of village government activities and programs under one roof and possibly provide additional space for the library.

During a May 21 meeting, the Pauline Haass Library Board authorized Library Director Kathy Klager to serve as the library's representative in discussions regarding space needs in the proposed new civic center.

According to Smith's memo to the village board, representatives of the library, the village, and the Y, would serve as non voting members of the Civic Campus Advisory Committee.

The committee appointed at the Tuesday, May 27, village board meeting includes Village President Greg Goetz; committee chair, Trustee Pat Tetzlaff, representing the Village Board; Plan Commission member Roger Johnson; downtown business owner Paul Cain; Park Board member Bob Fourness; Community Development Authority member Jen Bell; Jennifer Waltz of the food pantry; Heather Pfalz, of the Chamber of Commerce; Art Rude, Shelly Carlson and Don Lovy.

The committee is expected to meet the first or second Thursday of the month for about six meetings and make its recommendations by December.

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