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Public gives input on the La Crosse Center expansion

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – A public input session Thursday asks for community feedback regarding the latest La Crosse Center expansion designs.

The first attempt at a renovation ended with a mayoral veto back in July. Now the center board has commissioned two new designs. Both are on budget, neither extends into the park.

The event highlights both plans selected by the La Crosse Center Board. Plans are titled North and West after the proposed locations of the expansion. Each plan features similar square footage and amenities, with use of surrounding space in the two locations a key difference.

Through opinion surveys, board officials hope to use the experience of community members to make an informed recommendation to the La Crosse City Council.

“They have some ideas that we’ve never thought of, it’s really important from that perspective,” La Crosse Center Board President Brent Smith elaborates. 

“They are going to be the ones using the building. I mean, we will use it but the people that are going to come to a concert or a show, the people who are going to have a convention here, we want to know if we forgot something. What of these options is best for you?”

Differences between the two plans include the ability to connect to the center’s west ballroom, and differing views of Riverside Park.

Local resident TJ Peterslie owns businesses on Pearl Street near the center. He spent time at the input session to show support for the project while providing insight into the desires of residents.

“This is still a preliminary stage but we have to get the ball rolling here,” Peterslie continues, “We have to pick one the plans, either the north or the west.”

“Personally I favor the West. It takes into consideration the great river view. You’ll never see another river view like that, at any convention center,” Peterslie finishes. 

Anyone unable to attend the input sessions can visit The New La Crosse Center online for concept designs and the public input survey.

The La Crosse Center Board will decide their final recommendation later in December before going in front of the La Crosse City Council in January.

Kevin Millard

Kevin Millard-Social Media Digital Content Manager for WXOW.

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