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School board considers selling UU property; report says site is not suitable for large school

The Hudson School Board voted 5-0 to get appraisals of the two pieces of property the district owns on County UU near the Hudson Soccer Complex in order to consider whether the property should be sold and a new site sought for a secondary school or to hold onto the property.

The board also voted to table going forward with a feasibility study to bring public utilities to the site until they have made a decision on the UU property.

The vote came after a report by Mark Boehlke, senior land planner for Hoffman LLC, a planning, design and construction firm from Appleton about the suitability of the UU site .

Boehlke told the board there were a number of issues with the property that make construction of a large school there difficult.

Chief among them are the multiple elevations throughout the property, some as high as 30 percent. Boehkle said in his 30 years experience in building schools, he has never built one on a property like the UU site.

He explained that the property cannot simply be leveled or “bulldozed” to make it work. Grading land must adhere to county and township building restrictions. There are also water management issues that changing the topography of the site would impact. Law requires that no changes can be made to the elevation of land that borders other property so as not to affect existing drainage patterns.

Other problems Boehlke noted included the number of wooded areas on the property,  the shape of the site with the useable areas on the property are isolated from each other and accessibility problems to the main building with stairs, ramps and extreme grades on sidewalks and driveways.

He also noted that road access to the property would have to be upgraded and entrance points to it increased. County UU is not designed for the increased traffic a school would bring to the site. He said the county would require substantial improvements to the roadway.

Boehlke noted that all of these issues would mean “substantially higher” develop costs for this property.

Look for more details of the report in the Dec. 19 Star-Observer. 

Meg Heaton

Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

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