Moving forward after La Crosse Center expansion approval

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La Crosse, Wis. (WXOW) – Thursday’s council meeting approved the La Crosse Center expansion, known as the West design, with a budget of $42 million.

La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat vetoed the first expansion plans in July over concerns the design would encroach into Riverside Park and the $49 million budget.

The La Crosse Center Board presented alternative plans to both the council and the public before bringing the current concept for approval.

This vote moves the project from concept to design, with the council supervising the process going forward.

“When we get to the schematic designs we are putting some more tangible numbers together with it,” La Crosse Center Director Art Fahey explains. 

“How it’s going to look as far as colors, some of the amenities that will go with it. That’s what schematic designs starts drilling down on because you start turning the schematic designs over to the construction managers and they start putting some real price tags on to this.”

Schematic designs will help construction officials learn more about potential prices. Information that will provide a better estimate of cost.

“There’s some things called bolt-ons, and those are the add-ons. We have to keep this within a budget. There’s some discussion about an atrium and how that could play into this and it may have to still have to be scaled back,” Fahey adds.

Mayor of La Crosse Tim Kabat says the project is not final at this time. The council plans to stay involved with the project as development begins.

“There will still be many opportunities for community engagement,” Mayor Kabat explains.

“The details now start to get fleshed out as far as the size of the ballrooms and how that’s all going to flow. Those types of things will come back to committees and councils and the community especially.”

Fahey says the La Crosse Center Board will make modifications as the process moves forward. The goal is to start construction at the beginning of 2020, aiming to finish by the end of the year.

La Crosse Center Board members expect future public input sessions but have none scheduled at this time. Visit The New La Crosse Center online for details and future input opportunities.

MORE: Public Input Session

exterior of the La Crosse Center
Peter Lenz

Peter Lenz

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