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La Crosse School Board unanimously approves purchase of ‘The Brickhouse’



The La Crosse School Board made it official Monday night.

The board voted unanimously for the district to purchase The Brickhouse in Downtown La Crosse for $475,000.

Plans call for the building to be a space for students from La Crosse Design Institute and 7 Rivers High School.

Superintendent Randy Nelson said besides normal remodeling, there aren’t any big issues to worry about.

“The building is sound,” Nelson said. “We’ve reviewed the infrastructure, and we’ve done a thorough accounting of what will need to be done there. It will require a little bit of work.”

If all goes according to plan, students of the two schools would be in the building by the first day of school in September.

Nelson also pointed to criticism of the sale, specifically the $10,000 hit to the city taxrolls, reminding those people that the building hasn’t been in that scenario forever.

“While I can’t dispute that point, before this building was known as The Brickhouse, it served as the Eagles Club,” he said, “which was run by a nonprofit and didn’t have a taxroll connected to it.”

Any remodeling efforts would be paid for by the district’s fund balance, as well as ongoing capital maintenance funding.

The district has been looking for a way to combine the two schools for years.

The 7 Rivers school is currently housed in the Hogan Administrative Center gym, while LDI is in the basement of Longfellow Middle School.

Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.

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