During an 11-minute special meeting held in the auditorium at Cardinal Heights Upper Middle School, Sun Prairie Area School District electors on Monday July 19 authorized district administration to pay up to $205,000 for a home and property located at 317 W. Main St.
Electors voted 19-1 to approve the purchase of the property, with Town of Sun Prairie resident Roger Fetterly being the lone no vote.
Before the vote was taken, electors voted to make Sun Prairie School Board President Steve Schroeder the special meeting chair. His election was followed by attorney Bill Fahey reviewing the rules for the meeting.
SPASD Assistant Superintendent of Operations Sent Rosseter gave a brief presentation about the property and why the district wants to purchase it. As with other properties neighboring the new Bank of Sun Prairie Stadium at Ashley Field, the district has asked neighboring property owners considering a sale to approach the district first about selling their property in a private sale.
The owner of 317 W Main Street contacted the SPASD regarding the private sale of his property, Rosseter said, and a certified appraisal was conducted to establish a fair market price for both the property owner and the District’s electors.
Because the property is adjacent to the stadium, the SPASD wanted to purchase the property for several reasons, according to Rosseter:
Purchasing the property allows the district to create a “gateway” entrance from Main Street.
Removing the home from the property allows more green space around the stadium.
Provides space to create future community amenities that complement the stadium and public purposes.
That was likely a reference to the City of Sun Prairie’s Sun Prairie Stronger Plan, which calls for new development around the stadium to make it more of an activity center for Downtown Sun Prairie.
The Sun Prairie Stronger Plan was created after the July 10, 2018 natural gas explosion in Downtown Sun Prairie that claimed the life of Sun Prairie Fire Capt. Cory Barr, injured two emergency responders, and resulted in the loss of five buildings downtown, including a private home.
Part of the successful referendum to construct Sun Prairie West High School, Bank of Sun Prairie Stadium at Ashley Field was completed during the COVID-19 pandemic and only this spring opened to the public to host district-sponsored and Sun Prairie High School athletic events. It played host to the 2021 Sun Prairie High School Graduation Ceremony, and plans are in the works for the stadium to host a Drum Corps International show on Saturday, July 31.
“We have invested over $17 million in this stadium rebuild,” Rosseter told the crowd of about 23 people attending the special electors meeting, including media and district staffers.
The certified appraisal valued the home and property at $205,000, which is what the district offered, according to Rosseter. Electors’ approval was needed to finalize the sale.
The electors’ approval means the sale may now be closed within the next couple of months, according to Rosseter.
Colorado Avenue resident Diana McFarland moved to purchase the property for school district purposes and that the Sun Prairie School Board be further authorized to determine the terms and conditions of such acquisition, and her motion was seconded by Eric Olson, a Stonehaven Drive resident.
Schroeder asked for a show of hands in favor of the property purchase, and 19 residents raised their hands. When asked for opponents, Fetterly raised his hand.
With no other business scheduled for the special meeting, electors adjourned at 6:11 p.m.