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School Board Approves Three Site Concepts for St. Croix Meadows Site

Conceptual site plans for the St. Croix Meadows dog track property include options for an 8-9 school, a three-year high school and a four-year high school. All three concepts include about 10 acres of land to be sold for commercial or city use.

At its May 8 meeting at , the Board of Education approved three concept site plans to put a secondary school on the St. Croix Meadows dog track property.

All of the site plans designate about 10 acres of the land on the northwest corner of the lot (near the intersection of Carmichael Road and Mayer Road) to be sold for commercial or city use. 

The plans show general areas where certain aspects of the school could be situated. Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten stressed that nothing has yet been decided and that a full community-engagement process will take place before anything is decided upon.

The motion to approve the conceptual site plans was approved 5-1, with newly elected board member Sandy Gehrke dissenting. Dan Tjornehoj was absent. 

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Grades 8-9 Site Concept

  • School building zone
  • Future school building zones
  • Parking
  • Future parking
  • Practice fields (general)
  • Baseball field (practice)
  • Future baseball field (competition)
  • Softball field (practice)
  • Future softball field (competition)
  • Future football/soccer field (competition)
  • Tennis courts (8)
  • Areas for wetlands, stormwater management, outdoor environmental educational area

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Three-Year Site Concept

  • School building zone
  • Future school building zone
  • Parking
  • General practice fields (2)
  • Future general practice field
  • Baseball field (practice)
  • Baseball field (competition)
  • Softball field (practice)
  • Softball field (competition)
  • Football/soccer field with track (competition)
  • Concessions/storage area
  • Tennis courts (12)
  • Areas for wetlands, stormwater management, outdoor environmental educational area

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Four-Year Site Concept

  • School building zone
  • Parking
  • General practice fields (3)
  • Baseball field (practice)
  • Baseball field (competition)
  • Softball field (practice)
  • Softball field (competition)
  • Football/soccer field with track (competition)
  • Concessions/storage area
  • Tennis courts (12)
  • Areas for wetlands, stormwater management, outdoor environmental educational area

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Tracy Habisch-Ahlin, Hudson School District communications specialist, sent the following statement to Patch after the meeting:

This evening the Hudson Board of Education viewed the attached three St. Croix Meadows site conceptual maps for a 4 year high school, 3 year high and a grade 8-9 secondary school. These conceptual maps will be presented to the City of Hudson for re-zoning consideration and for use during the district’s community engagement process to determine the configuration of the secondary school and what to include in a future construction referendum. The 4 yr. high school concept map provides a look at how the property may be used to accommodate up to 2,500 students and the associated staff. The map shows a building zone that would include classrooms and learning space as defined by curriculum/programming; common areas; an auditorium (this will be decided by the community during the community engagement process, but is included here for site planning purposes); multi-station gymnasium (size to be determined by the community); and competition size pool (again to be determined by the community). The building zone is represented by a rectangle and in all likelihood would have a far different design shape that would include some green spaces. Other areas on the site are clearly marked.

To date, the Hudson Planning Commission and the Hudson City Council have not made a re-zoning decision. At the Planning Commission’s April 12 meeting, members of the commission requested the district provide them with additional information about how the St. Croix Meadows site will be used and submit financial and site comparisons of other potential school sites that the district did not choose (UU property, County property – corner of Carmichael and Vine, and a new site identified by the Planning Commission in Troy Township). The district requested an additional 30 days to respond. The district continues to gather financial comparison data for the Planning Commission and the City Council.  If you are interested in viewing the Planning Commission April 12th meeting click on this link - http://www.riverchannel.org/streaming/citycouncil/

Planning Commission and City Council members have expressed concern over the lost tax revenue on the St. Croix Meadows site if it is rezoned to public use. Currently the City of Hudson receives about $25,000/yr in tax revenue from the site. In an effort to recognize this loss and to work collaboratively with the City, the Hudson School District administration recommended to the Board of Education that approximately 10 acres be sold to the City or a commercial buyer. The City is in need of both Public Works and Public Safety space, this may be a piece of property that could be used by the City. An alternative would be for a commercial buyer to purchase the acres for a use that is compatible with a secondary school.

Your questions and comments are welcome!

Micheal Foley May 09, 2012 at 02:36 AM
It sure would be nice to have all the athletic facilities in one area. Even the hockey rink is within walking distance.
Paine Reliever May 09, 2012 at 06:10 AM
Agreed. Centralized sporting fields with ample parking and easy to find location close to the highway are nice attributes if hosting regional competition and tournaments. Hosting tournaments and other functions also increases business for local hotels and resturaunts. It also makes security and patrolling events easier for city police. I would be Leary of using 10 acres for commercial use. In my opinion the area is not suited for commercial development and the city couldn't allow just any business to be basically surrounded by school property. I could see a smaller area for a public works building as mentioned, but maybe in another area on the property. Do we we want the "face" of a potential new high school to have a city garage with dump trucks welcoming visitors? Or how about getting UWRF to use some of the dog track space and relocate from where they are now above the bank by Hudson Chrysler?
Dirk A. May 09, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Your collective reasons for building on this site are financially insane. Athletic facilities should be the last thing one takes into consideration when contemplating building on this site, or anywhere for that matter. If our current facilities don't offer an environment that enables students to gain knowledge (that's what schools are for, remember?), then lets move forward with a new school, but not because a potential new football field will have better seating or tastier hot dogs.
Micheal Foley May 09, 2012 at 02:03 PM
I think what the city really wants is space for a new public safety building. It wouldn't be dump trucks and snow plows. It would be fire trucks, ambulances and police cars.
Judy Stray May 09, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Is athletics the reason for this purchase? If so, the school district has its priorities all mixed up. I though education (3 r's) was the goal.
Truman May 09, 2012 at 04:58 PM
The most important consideration should be providing additional classroom space for Mandarin Chinese language classes. I expect that hundreds, if not thousands, of high school students will soon be taking Mandarin Chinese classes at HHS. I fully expect that fluent Chinese will be spoken in the hallways, as much as English, in the coming years. This will position Hudson students to be prepared for their future careers in which they will be speaking Chinese daily. Thank goodness that our school board is preparing them for the 21st Century by providing these critical Mandarin Chinese classes. This is certainly a big success story at HHS!
Micheal Foley May 09, 2012 at 05:03 PM
I agree. I just stated that it would be nice.
Micheal Foley May 09, 2012 at 05:04 PM
I don't think that's the reason at all. I just think it's nice.
Paine Reliever May 09, 2012 at 06:04 PM
The added building space for a growing population is a no brainer. It is also wise planning to look at a space large enough to have the major sports fields centralized, whether we actually build out the site completely now or later down the road. You can call it a want v.s. a need but years from now it may turn into a need that we will regret not taking advantage of. Athletic fields are obviously not the reason to build a new high school but we are in a major corridor near a large metro area which is very desirable and would make Hudson attractive to host tournaments and other non sports activities if we had facilities that took advantage of this location. This location is an asset that few cities in our region enjoy. Bottom line, if you have reached the point where you have to build, build it right with flexabilty. Ask the police department how efficient it is to control traffic, parking and general safety at football games now v.s. if games were at the dog track. Kids getting to the field would be easier after school as well as using centralized lockers etc.
Paine Reliever May 09, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Mike, if it is a public safety campus with squads and fire trucks, would 10 acres be enough and why not put that on the public land by vine and Carmichael? It is already zoned public use and it is right next to the court house. I hope the city planners have a plan for where they wanted to put a "campus" other than waiting for the dog tack. Have they exhausted every possible location? Maybe they should get back to us in 30 days comparing cost advantages for four other sites :) let's move forward and get this done.
Micheal Foley May 10, 2012 at 06:55 AM
That sounds like a good plan too.
Frazzle May 10, 2012 at 10:37 AM
So Paine reliever you sound as if you would have preferred a NO vote at the last plan commission meeting instead of the city asking for more information that may get the rezoning passed? Second maybe you should ask the police how their liason officer will be able to patrol yet another school clear across town. Word is he is strapped all ready with the drug issues in the current middle school and high school. And if the answer is hire a second well that will be difficult with the current law suit and financial situation the city is in. Maybe another referendum to raise taxes for that would be an answer as well.
Paine Reliever May 10, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Are you kidding Free Bird? The plan commission basically did give it a NO vote. Watch the tape of the meeting. The plan commission overstepped thier responsibilities the second they started debating what site they thought would be a better site. Radermacher was quite vocal about the county property on carmicheal and vine , Mary Yacoub even advised a property that was not listed for sale be looked at. Another member promissed water and sewer to UU when that is no way a sure thing. One member stated that a high school for 2000+ students was built in Green Bay on 27 acres with no mention of specifics or context.They pleaded for people to understand that they just can"t change the comprehensive plan, even though they change it regularly. They mislead the public when talking about the one third of "available" commercial property space that will be lost and is "irreplaceable" while failing to mention that there is a lot of property that will be rezoned commercial soon. They also seem to have formed thier opinions by repeating the sames things written in to the Star Observer by the same few people who criticize everything the school district does. So it sounds like the planning commission wants to decide where and how much space a new school needs. Bottom line is we had a referendum and it passed. It will be very interesting to see how the planning commission and more importantly the city council handle this opportunity since they waited to see if the voters approved.
mainstreet May 11, 2012 at 01:45 AM
"Bottom line is we had a referendum and it passed." Very true. However it was to buy property that is not properly zoned to be a school. Silly school board. Let's hope the city council continues to provide the leadership that the school board doesn't, and deny the zoning change.
Frazzle May 11, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Your post is wrong on so many accounts. But tonargue that is just not worth it to me. Here is the bottom line. The plan commission does not have to do a thing. It is not about whether or not they want a school it is about whether or not it is appropriate to redone the land. I m confused what piece of property was mentioned not listed? All land mentioned as offered to the school board at one point. The county land is not listed so should that not be brought up? My read was the plan commission asked questions that the school board was not in control of. The plan commission are not a bunch of bobble.heads they actually have opinions. And maybe they would have voted no but give them credit for being patient. The school board plays with their own rules and now they have to follow the cities process. Rough I know.
Paine Reliever May 11, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Free bird, It doesn't have to be an arguement, it can be a discussion. I think you like to make it an arguement if anyones opinions differ from yours.
Frazzle May 11, 2012 at 03:28 PM
I was just pointing out facts. I don't believe that was an argument
Voice of Reason May 11, 2012 at 04:33 PM
The bottom line is that Paine Reliever is the only one in this discussion that knows what he or she is talking about. The majority of the city residents voted yes - the city council represents city residents. It should be a "no-brainer" to approve the rezoning.
DianeT July 16, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Looking at these plans it is obvious that the focal point is the Hudson Raiders athletic fortress. When the administration and board exclaimed they were “keeping the kids at the forefront of their decision” they should have specified “athletic kids”. Furthermore, it is becoming more apparent why certain individuals are fighting vehemently for the passing of the referendum while denying conflict of interest. Their commercial property will reap the benefits of increased traffic and hence increase demand for tenants. Squelching this theory they respond by saying this is “speculative at best”. I contend speculative markets have created many a millionaire.

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