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TONIGHT: Second chance to see new concepts for $42 million La Crosse Center expansion

Brad Williams

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For the second time in less than a month, the La Crosse Center is inviting the public to look at new plans for the $42 million expansion.

An open house is scheduled from 5:30-7:30 p.m. tonight, where visitors can show up for a few minutes, see drawings of building plans and ask questions.

Two options for renovating the 38-year-old civic center will be on display in the ballroom.

Center director Art Fahey said public comments will help the Center Board make a recommendation to City Hall very soon.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a solid one but that’s what this conceptual design period is all made for,” Fahey said, “is to go through this and make adjustments as we need as we move along with the overall high-level, you know could be decided.”

The concepts being considered include expansions on the north or west side of the building. Fahey said staff has leaned toward the west design.

Both plans would include the addition of a second ballroom.

The new concepts were revealed months after the city council and the mayor turned down a west side addition, which would have extended into Riverside Park and cost around $48 million.

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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