Clintonville discusses relocating city hall
Elementary school considered as potential site
By Bert Lehman
The Clintonville Facilities Committeediscussed the possibility of eventually moving city hall to Rexford/Longfellow Elementary School. when it met on Oct. 18.
The Rexford/Longfellow building will be vacant at the end of this school year as elementary students will be moving to what was previously the Clintonville Middle School. That building is currently being remodeled as part of the school referendum that was passed a couple years ago.
Devin Flanigan, construction manager for Keller Inc., told the committee that his company reviewed the buildings for city hall, public works and the fire department.
The city had hired Keller to do building assessments of those buildings.
“We’ve made a lot of progress and I think we’re continuing to fine tune things as we move forward,” Flanigan said.
City Administrator Caz Muske said the building that currently houses the fire department and city hall can be retrofitted to house only the fire department.
“But then the question is, where does the city hall operations go?” Muske said. “That’s kind of why we’re at a stopping point of trying to figure out where (to take) city hall operations.”
Muske said the community, based on it approving the school referendum, is in favor of retrofitting buildings in the community.
Rexford/Longfellow has been considered as an option to house city hall in the future, Muske said. She added that discussions have taken place with district officials.
Because of the large size of Rexford/Longfellow, Muske said it would house more than city hall if city hall ever moved there.
“We envision it as potentially a city center, so not just city hall operations, but there could be other partnerships at play,” Muske said.
Muske said in April she had a discussion with the CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of the Fox Valley. She said there is some interest in the organization having a location in the Clintonville area, dding that the organization has partnered with schools and other organizations with buildings. Muske said she has a meeting planned with the organization this month.
“Obviously that would be another player to bring in to help with the cost associated with the retrofit of that facility,” Muske said.
Discussions with St. Martin school
Discussions have also been held with representatives from St. Martin Lutheran School. Muske said St. Martin has also expressed interest in taking over some of the space the Rexford/Longfellow building.
“We’re going to continue to have those dialogs to see if there is feasibility, as far as campus location-wise,” Muske said. “It’s directly across the street. It’s a great location for St. Martins to expand.”
Muske added there is a need for more daycare in Clintonville.
She stressed that “nothing is set in stone” and the city must continue to communicate with all involved parties if this option would be feasible.
“Obviously the more players we have at the table, that means it’s less of a financial burden on the city,” Muske said. “So, that is kind of the hope, to have other partners in this project.”
Other potential partners could include incubator options for small businesses to start up, Muske said.
“There’s so many different things we could do in addition to take advantage of city hall operations, maintain a need for the gym space, there’s an auditorium, there’s a lot of things and programs that could be a great option in the event that we were to take over this facility (Rexford/Longfellow),” Muske said. “But at this point there is no confirmations. There’s just continued dialogue.”