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Sun Prairie council approves funds for new Boys and Girls Club

October 2, 2018

SUN PRAIRIE -- The City Council on Tuesday approved $200,000 in taxpayer funding aimed at helping the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County open its first community center outside of the immediate Madison area.

The $50,000 grant and $150,000 no-interest loan will be used to offset some of $1.25 million cost of buying and doing some initial renovations to Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church and its associated parsonage in the 200 block of Windsor Street, near the city’s downtown.

The property would be converted into a community center with a daycare, after-school programming, a teen center and other services, and open, Club officials say, by ???.

The 2.88-acre church property includes the 18,500-square-foot church built in 1952 and expanded in 1990, and the adjacent 2,218-square-foot parsonage built in 1971. It had been listed for sale for $1.3 million.

Mitchell said the family center would serve 175 children per day, with many of them transported from Sun Prairie schools by club vans.

The church is moving operations to its other site on the city’s north side.

The Club closed on the property Aug. 31. Financing for the purchase and some initial repairs is coming in the form of a $450,000 federal grant, a $600,000 loan and the $200,000 from the city.

While mechanical systems in the church are functioning, many are at the end of their serviceable life, and Club president and CEO Rod Mitchell has said “pretty much everything in the building needs to be replaced,” including the roof.

In April, former club president and CEO Michael Johnson said the club’s board would not consider the church’s purchase unless the city and business community committed to its funding, and he ruled out applying for a loan. Since then, the board has pushed to pursue the Sun Prairie project, Mitchell said.

It would be the club’s third community center in Dane County. The others are on Madison’s South Side and in Fitchburg near Allied Drive.

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