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Friday - January 19, 2018 3:05 am

La Crosse Center board chooses $49 million expansion, headed to city council for vote

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The $49 million La Crosse Center expansion plan is just about ready for a vote by the city council.

This week, the center board chose that spending option for expanding the 38-year-old building westward, into Riverside Park toward the Mississippi River.

The other design plans were for $55 million or $45 million provided by architecture firms Gensler and ISG, along with with Kraus-Anderson Construction.

February is the goal to get the proposal to the city council but Center director Art Fahey said, "If our questions aren't answered, obviously we may have to take another month and that's OK."

After that, it's sent to the architects and Kraus-Anderson.

"Then they do the design drawings and the immediate followup to that is pricing," Fahey said.

Fahey noted there is an economic impact study, which suggests that remodeling the Center could bring in 10 percent more visitors to the building.

A key reason for improving the center, which opened in 1980, is to prevent conventions from going to newer facilities in other cities.

Fahey does not expect actual construction on the center makeover to begin until next year.

Some deferred maintenance items in the Center could be completed this year before the expansion starts.

Brad Williams

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from U-W-La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area.  Brad writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse.  He's been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.  

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