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La Crosse Center board chair hopes for activities to resume soon

Brad Williams

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One reason the city of La Crosse might have a $6 million shortfall this year is because the La Crosse Center can’t have big events right now. 

The 40-year-old building is undergoing a large renovation, and besides, big gatherings are banned for now because of COVID-19. 

But center board president Brent Smith says building manager Art Fahey is still working on future schedules, if government restrictions are eased up soon.    

Smith hopes some activities can still happen during the center’s traditional busy season, starting in September and October.  

Smith concedes that it’s an odd situation, to modernize the civic center is being modernized to attract events which some people worry may never happen again.

“Our goal is to get large groups of people together,” says Smith. “That’s what we thrive on, and so the very thing that now in our society we’re trying to prevent, that is the La Crosse Center’s goal. It’s a tough time.”

The loss of La Crosse Center revenue from cancellations and the construction project is counted among the $5.9 million shortfall projected for the city budget in 2020. 

But Smith says the schedule still calls for the North Hall to be reopened in 2021, and many events are still planned for late this year.        

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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