Tuesday - February 13, 2018 6:56 pm

Committee hopes Riverside bandshell construction begins this year

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After years of planning, there might actually be construction this year to improve the Riverside Park bandshell in La Crosse.

Tuesday, a study committee looked at proposed designs and heard comments about what should happen with the stage built nearly 90 years ago.

"What I've heard today was there's a lot of talk today about a canopy and an overhead structure," committee spokesman Mike Swinghamer with River Architects said. "We're going to go back and take a look at that and see what the possibilities are and bring it back to the community."

The project, priced at $1.2 million, could add a canopy over the bandshell and a ramp for wheelchair access.

The stage, built in 1930, needs structural and electrical repairs.

Swinghamer said floodplain rules prevent the city from making the bandshell much bigger on its current site. Because it's on a spot that can be flooded, the bandshell and its seating area cannot be expanded.

Swinghamer added that the 'flood fringe' was a concern when a different bandshell plan was offered years ago.

"It was out of the floodway, so we were allowed to build a larger structure," Swinghamer said. "We were re-aligning Front St. to make room for it. It was actually pushed off to the side. So we were very aware of that from the beginning stage."

Swinghamer hopes the project can be done in time for Rotary Lights in November.

"The city would like to start construction in the fall and get it done as quickly as possible," he said. "There's a lot of scheduling issues that are going to have to be studied and looked at."

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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