The Racine Unified School District is now the official owner of the Sturtevant Sportsplex building, which it bought for $5.225 million, according to the State Department of Revenue website.
The district will borrow the money to buy the property with a 10-year repayment plan and the expectation that renting out the facility for various sporting events – like indoor soccer – will help generate revenue at the same time.
Located at 10116 Stellar Avenue, the 7.6 acre parcel will also be home to the REAL School in the fall of 2017. The school had been located at 5915 Erie St. with Olympia Brown Elementary, which is moving to a new building in the fall.
The Sportsplex has two indoor soccer fields and three basketball courts that take up about 2/3 of the 107,681 square feet and the remaining space is available for education. The building is closed right now for cleaning, said Stacy Tapp, chief of communications for Racine Unified.
“We’re really excited about this opportunity,” Tapp said. “Just like we are creating this academy model for our schools, we’ll also have the chance to grow the REAL School and we’ll be able to have a more hands on learning experience for our students.”
Additionally, there are around 350 students currently attending the REAL School, but that number could jump to 500 or even 600 with the additional space and potential for students to take classes at the iMET Center and/or participate in internships through Gateway Technical College.
“The school district is collaborating with Gateway Technical College and plans to partner with the iMET Center,” Tapp said. “They have the FABLab and 3D printers… this way our teachers can also work with the Gateway professors.”
The school district is also exploring opportunities for REAL School students to partner with area businesses in the Renaissance Business Park, which is where the Sportsplex is located.
“The parents and staff are very excited about this,” Tapp said. “But this is at a significantly less cost than building a new building and we have access to the iMet Center. So it’s an affordable use of taxpayer dollars and we can grow the REAL School.”