County receives more grant money for park building

Hawthorne Hills facility that will cost $374,000 to include bathrooms, showers, kitchen, meeting rooms

CONSTRUCTION OF A $374,000 multipurpose building at Hawthorne Hills Park is underway. It will house everything from an equipment storage area to bathrooms, showers and a kitchen. Photo by Sam Arendt
Ozaukee Press staff

The state grant funding the construction of a multipurpose maintenance building at the Ozaukee County Hawthorne Hills Park has grown by $37,050, increasing the total cost of the project to $374,100, according to documents.

The additional funds from a state Department of Natural Resources Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Local Assistance grant will help pay half the cost of the project, or $187,050, with the county picking up the rest of the cost using money from its capital improvement fund.

Acceptance of the additional funds were approved by supervisors on the county Natural Resources Committee at their meeting on Jan. 4.

The multi-purpose building consists of two 3,388-square-foot levels. The first level, or phase one, includes indoor maintenance and equipment cleaning and storage areas, plus office and meeting space.

The upper level, or phase two, will include heated public bathrooms and showers, a kitchen, office, meeting room and storage space. Parking also will be added.

The new building, which is expected to be completed this summer, will make it easier to operate and maintain other services at Hawthorne Hills Golf Course and other nearby facilities.

The project is currently under construction, necessitating closure of the road that leads to the H.H. Peters Youth Camp facility, but when completed will improve and expand services to the public at the park.

The public bathroom and shower facilities can be accessed from the outside, making possible the development in 2024 of 25 to 30 campsites, at a cost of about $110,000, adjacent to the multipurpose building. State law requires that bathroom facilities be located within 100 yards of a campground.

About two acres of the campground has already been filled and graded with 936 yards of soil taken from the county’s Little Menomonee River Fish and Wildlife Area project in Mequon.

Staff and maintenance costs for the building and the bathrooms would be offset by campground revenue, estimated to be about $20,000 a year, county officials say.

The county’s share of the building’s construction cost will be paid for from its capital improvement fund. Those funds come from budget surpluses, excess debt service funds and new construction property tax revenue and are meant to pay for one-time expenditures and not to fund regular or ongoing county services.

Construction of the multipurpose building is one of the latest, and largest, projects at the park, which is bordered by Hawthorne Hills Golf Course to the south, Highway I to the west, Pioneer Village, operated by the Ozaukee County Historical Society, to the north and the Milwaukee River to the east.

The 57.1-acre park area is mostly undeveloped woodland that includes hiking trails. It is open to the public year-round from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and is popular for hikers and dog walkers.

There is  access to the Milwaukee River for fishing and kayaking, but there are no amenities other than a few grills and picnic tables. Fires are allowed only in the grills provided.

There also is a pond that is open to fishing but not to boating.

Other recent improvements at the park include improving accessibility at the 40-acre H. H. Peters Youth Camp for adults with disabilities and restoring native prairie grasses to 2.5 acres of open field with the help of a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Besides the campground, future projects at Hawthorne Hills Park include completing the paving of the road to the multipurpose building and to the H.H. Peters Youth Camp, at a cost of about $77,000.

Doing so would make those facilities more accessible in winter as snow cannot be plowed currently due to the steepness of parts of the road.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
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