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Wauwatosa School Board unanimously approves replacement of activity field, with lights, at East High School

May 21, 2019

Wauwatosa East High School will have a new and improved activity field with lighting for the start of the 2019-2020 school year.


The Wauwatosa School Board unanimously approved the proposal to replace the field with artificial turf and add four LED Musco lights during its meeting on Monday, May 20. The Board decision followed months of planning, analysis and significant community feedback.


The field replacement was identified in late 2018 as a priority Capital Improvement Project to address through the District’s Operating Budget in 2019 due to its unsafe conditions. Old home foundations shifting beneath the field have created sinking holes and “hilling”. 


For logistical and budget purposes, the field site improvements will be done at the same time as the reconfiguration and resurfacing of the school parking lot, which is one of the approved referendum projects. The parking lot work is budgeted at $900,000. The field project will total just over $2.4 million, with an anticipated $600,000 of the project funded through Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District’s Green Infrastructure Partnership Program and the remaining amount paid for out of the District’s operating budget.


The total site improvements include:

  • Replacement of Multi-Use Activity Field with Artificial Turf- Primary lines will be for soccer. Secondary lines will be for women and men’s lacrosse. Background lines will be for football and lines for marching band.
  • Replacement of Bleacher Seating on the Site- Replacement of existing bleachers with new, removable, bleachers and would accommodate seating up to 200.
  • Addition of Score Board to the Site(16’x8’)
  • Addition of 4 LED Lights to Field Area- The lights will have an automatic timer that turns lights off at 9 p.m. at the latest.  The lights will not be on if the field is not in use.
  • Parking lot reconfiguration and resurfacing- Replacement of existing parking lot with safer parking lot layout, maintaining the same amount of parking spots.


The board-approved plan includes revisions made based on community feedback, including the reduction of bleacher seating from 500 to 200, a limitation on how late the lights can be used, and an adjustment to the parking lot layout to keep the lot further back from a neighboring property.


When analyzing the best options for the field replacement, the District considered cost, as well as which options would allow the most use of the field. As a result of that analysis, artificial turf was the recommended solution.


The four 70-foot light poles are designed to provide concentrated light on the field and reduce or eliminate what’s known as light “spillage” onto nearby properties.  The District confirmed through light studies that the potential “spillage” from the four lights would be minimal and less than what exists from current light levels on the street.


Construction on the parking lot is anticipated to begin in late June on the north side of the lot, allowing for parking on the south side. Once the north side is complete, work on the south side of the lot will begin.


Fencing and excavation of the field site began at the end of May and neighbors were invited to meet with the construction team at the beginning of June.


East High School will remain open for Summer School and families have been provided communication regarding drop-off and pick-up procedures to help reduce traffic congestion.


To hear what the Board members had to say prior to their vote, click here. (Board comments begin at 3:47:29)


What is NOT part of the proposal?

  • There is no sound or PA system and no electrical outlet designed for future potential use
  • There is no concession or restroom building or plumbing designed for future potential use
  • There is no unlimited use of the lights. Lights are proposed for automatic turn off at 9 p.m.

You can learn more about the project at