Bay Creek rolls out its new welcome sign, gateway

After roughly three years of planning, fundraising and coordinating, Bay Creek neighborhoodBay Creek is adding a new welcome sign as part of a neighborhood gateway renovation (Susan Endres/Madison Commons)Bay Creek is adding a new welcome sign as part of a neighborhood gateway renovation (Susan Endres/Madison Commons) began constructing the first part of its neighborhood gateway in early July: a new welcome sign.

The concrete sign will feature metal lettering and blend into the landscape at the corner of Lake Court and Olin Avenue, across from Goodman Pool, according to Bay Creek artist Aaron Laux. For more details on the design, check out the project’s Kickstarter.

“We’re just really hoping that this will lead to even more development of the site,” Laux said, naming ideas like gardens, council rings, and a “sculpture garden.”

While project coordinators have been focusing on finishing the sign, Bay Creek Neighborhood Association Secretary Dan Kennelly said he thinks the neighborhood is still interested in pursuing the recently neglected parts of the gateway project, such as a solar sculpture and edible landscape.

Laux noted the project has been more challenging to implement than he expected. Much of the work has been completed on weekends, limited by the time volunteers have available.

Coordinators also ran into some problems with the sign’s placement, Kennelly said. Force main sewerage lines* run under the site and need to be accessible by the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District. Kennelly said they were able to reach a compromise by adjusting the design – one part will be built in two pieces to allow for easier removal.

The BCNA has raised around $11,000 for the sign. A city grant provided $6,000, while private donations and a Kickstarter campaign covered the rest, according to Kennelly.

“Neighbors and other folks in the community are excited about the project and a lot of people stepped up to make donations, which was great,” Kennelly said.

However, Bay Creek resident Ron Shutvet objected to the way coordinators have handled the project, arguing that it hasn’t been an open public process. He said most of the decisions have been made by a small group of people who inform the rest of the neighborhood after the fact.

Despite Shutvet’s concerns, Kennelly said, “by and large, the neighborhood pretty strongly supports [the project].”

Kennelly estimated the sign construction should be finished by the time the ground freezes this fall.

Madison Commons covered the Bay Creek gateway project in March of last year. Check out the timeline below to follow its development before and since.


*An earlier version of the story referred to the lines as water lines.