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The La Crosse Center’s $40-million renovation project could be much higher



City still waiting for $5 million from state, tied up in delayed budget.

The La Crosse Center is going over renovation plans with a $40 million budget.

That number, however, could fluctuate.

First, $5 million of that is dependent upon state funding. That funding is tied to the state budget being approved, which is two weeks past due, tied up in the legislature.

The to-do list could be $75 million. But the folks who run the Center have spent years whittling it down.

Consultants on the project, however, continue to point out necessities with the potential to drive the price up to $62 million. They’ve pointed to maintenance work that should not be postponed.

“We gotta go through that whole list and say, ‘These items aren’t going to be part of the project,'” Center director Art Fahey said. “We’ve gotta obviously keep it within the budget that’s been established.”

Much of the equipment and furniture in the Center is original issue, dating back to the building’s opening in 1980.

Fahey says consultants brought up dozens of items during a board meeting this week.

“They’ve got like 74 different points,” Fahey said. “In four hours we didn’t get to nearly any of those.”

Priorities right now for the remodel center around a second ballroom and a new corridor joining the two existing lobby areas.



A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also 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. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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