It’s been a decade in the making, but Madison United Rugby is inching closer to building a clubhouse at their fields at 513 Clark St., adjacent to Bakken Park.

Plans for a 7,930-square-foot building to be built between the two rugby fields were approved last month by the village plan commission and village board. Construction could begin as early as November, but could also be held off until spring.

“We spent about three years understanding what we’re going to be able to afford,” said Max Zukowski, rugby club president. “Putting this plan together, we can stand in front of you and tell you we can afford this, and we’re going to do this.”

The clubhouse will be used for concessions, locker rooms and space for club events. Bleachers will be located on each side, facing the respective fields.

While officials don’t anticipate the need for a larger clubhouse, if expansion is ever needed, it would be to the north of the clubhouse.

The rugby field original site plan was established a decade ago. The two fields were subsequently built along with other incremental improvements such as a shelter, shed and bleachers.

According to the group’s website, the estimated construction cost for the clubhouse is $1.65 million. This includes establishing an endowment fund to help offset operational costs.

Currently, the club has raised $1.1 million.

An anonymous alumni donor has agreed to match dollar for dollar the amount pledged to the Clubhouse 2020 Campaign at the end of 2019 up to $500,000.

“Our goal is to open next fall,” Zukowski said.

Residents will have a chance to learn more about the sport at Community Rugby Day on Saturday, Oct. 12. Details will be announced later.

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