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As I See It

We don’t need to get artsy at new county buiding



I don’t know art, but I know what I like. And I don’t like a plan to display artwork in the new La Crosse County Administrative Center. The county is planning to move the offices that remain in the old Administrative Center into what is now the Associated Bank building at Sixth and State. Converting a bank into county office space won’t come cheap. It is estimated La Crosse County will have to spend more than $22 million to renovate the bank, to create more office space in the Law Enforcement Center, and to add on to the Health and Human Services building. That is already more than $3 million more than the original estimates, and they haven’t even started construction yet. But that isn’t stopping county supervisors from considering spending even more. They are considering spending $10,000 to come up with a plan for displaying artwork in their new building. That money would go to a consultant who would develop plans for properly displaying art, some pieces permanently, others on a rotation, inside their Taj Mahal. We don’t need art in a government building. This isn’t a museum. It is a place where people go to file paperwork, or pay fines. We don’t need to be entertained, or inspired while we are there. And we don’t need county employees to pause and reflect on pieces of art while they are supposed to be working. Given that the building is already over budget, let’s just paint the walls white. If I need culture, I can stop at a museum.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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