Cardinal Community Center

Letters with the below information were sent to all Utility customers at the end of December. 

The Village of Ridgeway is excited to be embarking on the adaptive reuse of the Ridgeway Elementary School into the Cardinal Community Center for residents, visitors, and the surrounding community.

History of the Site:

The original portion of the building was constructed as part of a Federal Public Works Administration Program in 1939. Ridgeway High School/Ridgeway Union High School operated in the village until consolidation into the Dodgeville School District in the 1960’s. The original portion of the building received an additional wing in 1965 and continued to function as an active school until permanently closing in April 2020. The Village of Ridgeway received a grant from Compeer Financial to have a feasibility study done to assess the constructability of rehabilitating the former school into a community center. The feasibility study was conducted by Strang Engineering in September and the final report was completed in December 2020.


Community Survey:

In the summer of 2020, the Village of Ridgeway conducted a community survey to hear input and learn how the community envisioned seeing the RES building utilized to help guide the overall planning and conceptualize the usage of the building.

Additionally, 78.8% of respondents either strongly supported or supported the purchase of the RES building by the Village of Ridgeway.


Feasibility Study:

In the fall of 2020, the village received a $5,000 grant from Compeer Financial to conduct a feasibility study on the RES building and a stakeholder committee was formed to hold weekly public meetings with Strang Engineering to guide the exploratory process and potential of re-adapting the RES building.

Potential Long Range Community Center Layout – Option 2 Layout From Feasibility Study

Please note, the potential projects presented in the study may or may not be completed but were presented as part of the process to provide a future road map and prepare initial plans to inform the board of trustees prior to accepting the offer to purchase.


Proposed Options and Amenities in the Space:

  • Community Gym – Full sized basketball and volleyball court
  • Library Media Center/Reading Room
  • Kitchen and Multipurpose Room
  • Conference Center/Meeting Rooms
  • Village Offices
  • Marshal’s Office
  • Retail and Business Space

Development Planning:

At the October 13, 2020 village board meeting, the board reviewed the feasibility study and moved forward with purchasing the RES building for $1.00 from the Dodgeville School Board.

The Board of Trustees budgeted $450,000 to address the immediate HVAC concerns and necessary renovations to make these amenities available to the community to maximize the use of the building during the 2021 budget process.

In December, the Village Board of Trustees formed a committee of community members with expertise in mechanical, electrical, plumbing and construction experience to provide guidance and recommendations based on the initial feasibility study completed by Strang Engineering. The formed committee is the Cardinal Community Center Restoration and Development Committee and its next meeting is to be determined. Agendas will be posted here.

Working Timeline and Steering Committee Selected Phase 1 Priority Items for the Cardinal Community Center

The village will be issuing a request for proposals from qualified firms for phased development plans based on the above potential future site layout. A chosen proposal from an engineering consultant will provide project specifications, blueprints, and actual budget numbers for review.

The Cardinal Community Center Restoration and Development Committee will bring their recommendations to the Village Board of Trustees as future phases of the restoration progress. Additionally, overall recommendations for the phasing of the project will be asked for so the village board may consider additional remodeling projects according to need.


Donations & Funding:

Private donations from area organizations have been received. If your organization would like to contribute to the project, please make checks payable to the Village of Ridgeway.

We will also be actively seeking and applying for grant money to help fund the Cardinal Community Center to offset costs and improvements whenever possible.

Project Partners:

Dodgeville Public Library | Village of Ridgeway Board of Trustees and Plan Commission

Project Funders:

Compeer Financial | Malcolm Stack Foundation | Anne and Tim Connor | Ridgeway Home and School Group