Janesville35.4°

Village sees lakefront building options

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Kayla Bunge
November 3, 2009
— The new lakefront activity center likely will pay homage to Geneva Lake with almost unobstructed views of the crystal blue water.

The Fontana Village Board and the Fontana Community Development Authority along with about a dozen residents on Monday night got a look at several design options for the proposed lakefront activity center at 454 Lake St.


The one-story, 5,500-square-foot building would include a multipurpose meeting room with kitchenette and storage facilities, a non-motorized equipment rental operation and a coffee shop. It likely also would include outdoor gathering space, such as a patio.


David Lang of the Milwaukee-based architectural and engineering firm HGA presented five possible schematics for the building—all of which take into account access to the lake, the beach and nearby Reid Park.


"We want a comfortable arrangement between the building and the lake," he said.


Two of the options feature a gable roof over part of the building. Two of the options mimic the design of the new beach house. One option features a roof deck.


Bill Turner, chairman of the community development authority, asked for comments and questions from residents.


One resident asked if the village was planning to build the facility to cater to visitors. He said many residents already have access to the lake near their homes or at the public beach and boat launch.


Turner said the CDA, which is spearheading the project, believes many people—residents and visitors alike—will use the facility for a variety of activities.


Civic, business and private groups could use the meeting space for events. Residents and visitors could rent canoes, kayaks or paddleboards for use in the water. Residents and visitors could get a cup of coffee and a snack in the café.


Another resident asked why the village was going forward with plans for the facility when more than 80 percent of survey respondents last year said they were "diametrically opposed" to a new structure on the lakefront.


Turner told the woman she was incorrect. Fifty-seven percent of respondents were in favor of building a new building or remodeling the existing building, he said.


The project is estimated to cost less than $1 million and would be paid with tax incremental finance money. It is unknown when village officials will select a design.



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