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Feasibility Study Backed to Look at Potential Athletic Facilities in Sturgeon Bay

Sturgeon Bay’s Finance/Purchasing and Building Committee recommended Tuesday that the city contribute $20,000 toward the cost of a $74,500 feasibility study that will look into the potential development of both an indoor and outdoor community athletic complex.

City administrator Josh Van Lieshout said the city and the Sturgeon Bay School District for several years have been looking into possible improvements to the Memorial Field athletic complex, such as modernizing surfaces and improving drainage to improve the length of playability and usability of the facilities.

He noted one of the areas being looked at is the track field across from the high school, where a meet hasn’t been held in recent years with the school having hosted meets elsewhere. 

Van Lieshout said the study would evaluate and further plan for the facilities jointly owned by the city and school district, as well as plan for a possible future indoor recreation facility serving all of Door County at a site yet to be determined.

Though the possibility of having an indoor ice arena in the county has been discussed in the past, but never materialized, he said what an indoor facility might include, should one be developed as a result of the study, has yet to be determined.  

In addition to the amount to be contributed by the city to fund the study conducted by Ayers Associates, Van Lieshout said other entities that have pledged or already contributed funds for the study include $17,000 from the school district, $24,500 from an anonymous donor, $8,000 from Fincantieri, $4,000 from Door County Medical Center and $1,000 from the local pickleball group.

“Examining the feasibility of the idea, the need and support for reinvestment in these community athletic facilities is the goal of the effort,” he said. “This is the first step of many if the project(s) are to proceed.”

Once the feasibility study is completed, Van Lieshout said the results will be shared with the Common Council and School Board.

He said the study is expected to take three to four months, followed by a period of about 60 days to circulate and review it.

Scope of Study

The agreement for the feasibility study states Ayers would determine the size/scope of an indoor complex the local market could financially support; the trends for indoor and outdoor sports complexes; and how those facilities would support tourism in the area. The company would identify up to three sites for a possible indoor facility. 

For the facilities to be improved at the high school, Ayers would look into other potential users in addition to the school district. The company would also provide recommendations related to uses beyond the school district related to sports and potential revenue.

Ayes would gather feedback for the study by conducting stakeholder meetings over a two-day period with stakeholder groups listed by the city.

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