MILTON, Wis. - The School District of Milton is making creative use of the former Varsity Lanes bowling alley.
Since March 2017, the district has used it as a practice space for student athletes. High school athletic director Brian Hammil said almost every sport has used the space.
“Baseball, softball -- we’ve had soccer in there,” he said. “We’ve had wrestling practices in there. We’ve had cheerleading, poms. Our Special Olympics have had some stuff in there.”
He said hockey and Milton’s youth sports team also use the facility, and the alternative school MECAS uses the building for physical education classes. Hammil said someone uses the building almost every day.
“We’ve gotten a lot of use out of it,” he said. “Every day, most of the time, after the school day ends, then it’s pretty much full until maybe 9 o’clock at night.”
Hammil said a man bought the old bowling alley and gutted it. The man then offered the space to the school district because he knew the district had spacing issues at the high school.
“What we’ve done this winter, or since maybe even September, we wouldn’t have been able to do any of that with our current facilities because our high school building is full all the time,” Hammil said.
According to Hammil, the school district doesn’t have to pay rent for the building, just utilities and property tax.
The original right to use agreement lasted through the end of 2017, but after the district’s second failed referendum, officials voted to extend the agreement until the end of March.
“It’s been very valuable for the kids and great opportunities for them to have that,” Hammil said.
The district is discussing whether it will buy the building and continue to use it for the Hawk Zone or turn it back over to the owner so he can sell it to another buyer. Hammil said the disrtrict hopes to make a decision by the end of March.
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