OPINION: Greendale’s Changing Landscape
The news today that the site of Greendale’s current fire station may be sold for commercial development is good news for our Village.
If the sale moves forward, it would be the second major commercial development project in that area. Froedtert Health is considering a new, 9,400 square-foot medical office building to be constructed at 6220 West Loomis Road at a vacant lot just south of Walgreens.
Village Hall appears to be firing on all cylinders and the landscape is changing in other places. There are new rumors of an announcement about an exciting, new development on the Southridge property and Greendale’s original water tower will come down on July 27.
The 77 year-old elevated tank is an iconic community landmark. It will take time for Villagers to warm up to the modern, new one.
I recall a covert and aborted attempt with a crack team of high school classmates to climb the tower and leave our class mark in spray paint. Here’s hoping the statute of limitations has expired. No actual harm was done as Greendale’s finest scuttled that attempt, sending us scurrying through “E Section” backyards in the dark of night. Note to the GHS Class of 2015: climbing a water tower is not as easy as it might look. Not recommended.
I’m not expecting any explosions during the demolition. But, someone quipped that a razing on July 4 might have added something special to the Village Independence Day celebration.
Speaking of the Fourth, the Greendale Family 4th Fest sponsored by the Greendale Lions Club received the green light from the Village board this week. This is the second year for the expanded event. It is a clear upgrade for the Village. For a flyer, please click here.
There will be a public reading of the “Declaration of Independence” on Saturday, July 4 at 9 a.m., at the flagpole in front of Village Hall. Yours truly has been asked to read a portion of our nation’s founding document, so get there early to save your seat. This is the ninth year for this public reading, which started in 2007.
As always, the parade shouldn’t be missed. It kicks off at 10 a.m. After the parade, there is scheduled to be an opportunity to tour the Historic Hose Tower. If you haven’t been inside, this is a great opportunity to see the progress that has been made on the community landmark. Don’t miss it.
After a series of unforeseen fits and starts, A bid to complete the interior phase of construction at the Hose Tower moved forward at the Village Hall this week. With any luck, the community jewel should finally be open to the public by fall. I know groups are already clamoring about reservations.
Since 2011, the Historical Society has raised more than $400,000 in donations for the Hose Tower Project. I know it is going to be a great addition to our community and downtown. It is an excellent example of a public-private partnership. The GreendaleNOW has a good story on this. Full disclosure: I am a member of the Historical Society Board of Directors.
The Village Board heard from Jim Ward, Richard Busalacchi, Paul Elliott, James Schmidt and Aleksander Skibicki on June 9. All want to fill the open seat on the Village board. It was clear each has a passion for the Village and I heard some impressive resumes. The board will hear from remaining candidates on June 16. A decision on the seat could come that night. I think the board could have a tough decision to make.
Over at the schools, the board has scheduled an eighth closed meeting on Monday to hash over (again) the performance of Superintendent John Tharp. Reading the tea leaves in their agenda is leading many to speculate that a resignation could be forthcoming for the embattled school leader.
I don’t know what will happen on Monday night, but I do know it can’t be very much fun to be a school board member over the last three years. It is a mess of their own making and Monday night might be the first step to climbing out of the hole they dug for themselves.