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April 16, 2021

3/23/2021 9:47:00 AM
Cardinal Community Center discussion takes place by board

The Ridgeway Village Board took steps Wednesday to narrow down the options for the Cardinal Community Center which was formerly the Ridgeway Elementary School.
The board met with Strang and Associates representative Larry Barton to determine the next steps needed to ready the building for community use. Strang did the initial assessment which the board used to move forward with the purchase for $1.00 from the Dodgeville School last year.
Barton has been asked by the board to help them arrive at specific costs.  He said their are two ways to approach that with one being to obtain a firm price and the other to look at various options such as demolish and redevelop the site.
"What is needed is a full design process," Barton said. He said that would be accomplished by selecting what the board would like to see done, put the project out for bids and get a general contractor to sign onto the project.
Village Board President Jon Steen said the board is open minded on the project right now and is taking in all options.
"Then the traditional way is to go to bid," Barton said.
Barton added there are three steps in the design process with the first taking a few months to develop schematic plans with two or three options for cost estimates. Next would be picking one to further develop followed by coming up with a construction document.
"You can build from those documents,"said Barton then added "Strang would oversee the work on the village's behalf."
Barton said the fee estimate would be 7 to 9 percent of the construction costs. He added the 7% would not mean the cost to build would not be more.
Previously an estimate of $4 million dollars to upgrade the building was given in the previous study. Barton said that would result in $280,000 to $360,000 in fees.
Steen said the board has discussed what would be best for the village and that would be to phase out the project beginning with fixing any immediate issues then plan out the rest.
"It could take a number of years to get where we want to be," Steen said.
Barton agreed the first priority would be to do what is needed to be able to use the building.
A discussion followed about potential saleable lots to help finance the project. Also discussed was the possibility of demolishing the building and selling the property as lots. A price of $450,000 was floated which the board felt would take a long time before any value would be obtained from that.
"It would take many years to recover those costs," said Steen.
Michelle Casper reminded the board one of the reasons for purchasing the building is what it has meant to the community over the years, first as a high school before the consolidation in 1963 then as a K-8 followed by several different configurations until it was closed at the end of the last school year.
"It has meant a lot to the community," Casper added.
The board decided to have Barton take back their thoughts and email them updates.
Steen pointed out during the meeting the cost to the village has been very little so far as just necessary upkeep has been addressed so far.

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