West Allis - After years of trying to get a grant to turn an unused brownfield site behind the West Allis Police Station into a soccer field, the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District has finally won it.
The National Soccer Foundation has agreed to provide $200,000 for the new field near 11301 W. Lincoln Ave.
"It shows the value of persistence," said Superintendent Kurt Wachholz.
To make things even better, a private individual who wants to remain anonymous gave a matching $200,000 so that the field will be completely paid for without any taxpayer dollars, Wachholz said.
The field should be ready for play within 18 months. "We'll be working closely with the city" to make the soccer field happen, Wachholz said.
The city owns the land, but if West Allis Mayor Dan Devine has its way, the land would be tranferred to the district for a nominal amount.
"What I'd like to see is to sell it to them for $1," Devine said, noting that the Common Council will have to act on the matter. "We'd love to see it. … It would be a good recreational opportunity and it's always rewarding if we can get various governmental entities working together."
Besides providing much needed space for school soccer teams, the field could be used by youth recreation soccer programs and adult teams, and it could even be rented out, Wachholz said, adding that it will make productive use of an area that has been languishing for years.
The site is safe to use for soccer because another grant has already paid for capping the site to keep contamination away from the surface, Wachholz said.
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