MILTON

The city of Milton will not be transferring Central Park to the school district, an idea the district floated in October.

The school district no longer has interest in the park because administrators think the planned Midwest Tennis Center facility could provide the district more cost-effective tennis court space. The tennis courts in Central Park were the primary reason the district was interested in taking it over, Superintendent Tim Schigur.

City Administrator Al Hulick confirmed the district terminated the proposal at the end of December.

The state of the Milton High School pool also played a role in the decision, Schigur said.

As the pool’s HVAC system began failing late last month, district administrators thought pursuing a $250,000 to $300,000 project to replace the Central Park tennis courts should be put on hold, Schigur said.

The city and district have had an agreement since the 1980s under which the district maintains the park’s tennis courts in exchange for use in curricular and co-curricular activities.

The district approached the city council in October about the transfer. It wanted ownership of the property before replacing the tennis courts for insurance and liability reasons.

After that approach in December, the city council approved the sale of 5.78 acres to a Lake Geneva company that wants to build a 54,000-square-foot, six-court indoor tennis facility.

Midwest Tennis Center owner Paul Lauterbach told The Gazette he hopes the facility can be a community resource in addition to being a private tennis club and the home to UW-Whitewater’s tennis squads.

He mentioned the Milton School District as a potential partner.

The district spends $25,000 to $30,000 every other year to maintain the Central Park courts. Student-athletes and community members brought the condition of the courts to the district’s attention, and administrators agreed the courts need to be replaced, Schigur said.

Schigur and Director of Administrative Operations Jerry Schuetz said Friday afternoon that discussions to partner with Midwest Tennis are early, so conditions and costs are yet to be determined.

Midwest Tennis hopes the facility will be open along Highway 59 by fall.

Reporter - Milton, Edgerton, Albany, Brodhead, Evansville, Footville, Orfordville, health

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