LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – Construction is underway at a former bar turned school building in La Crosse.
The Brickhouse on 5th and King streets is under going a makeover. Next year it will house 6-12th graders from two La Crosse charter schools, the La Crosse Design Institute and 7 Rivers High School. Right now the building is in the demolition phase.
Superintendent Randy Nelson said it’s a building that has good history in this city. It’s going to become one of the oldest buildings in the district.
Nelson said the reason they wanted to do this is to get the students downtown was to “get them connected to our community more and have a presence in the downtown area. We think it’s going to be outstanding for students to work on their projects connecting with business people downtown being closer to a lot of different things including the fine arts and chefs.”
It’s been less than a month since the school district acquired the building. They purchased it for $475,000 and plan to put $1 million in work into it. They will be getting a new roof and renovating the inside. The money comes from the school district’s capitol budget.
Nelson said the teachers that have been working at LDI and 7 Rivers HS will come together and work on logistics. They are still working on the logistics as it pertains to phy-ed and music. But they know that the kids can use the area for local opportunities.
They expect to have as many as 120 students at this facility, but will probably begin with about 80 students who will start sometime next January. The school district will remain the building, but they have not yet decided on a name.
“It’s a building of some historical significance. It’s built really well there’s good strong terrazzo floors, upstairs has hardwood floors, we’re going to refurbish that leave it there. We’re going to do a lot of things to this building to retain its integrity.”