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Mayo expansion plans reviewed closely by La Crosse city departments

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One city council committee and City Hall staffers in La Crosse has gotten a closer look at new building plans for Mayo Health System. 

Mayo has long-range plans to replace its current La Crosse hospital and the Skemp Clinic, and expand the existing Center for Advanced Medicine. 

During a Friday meeting of the Commercial/Multi-Family Design Review Committee, Stephanie Sward of the city engineering staff said Mayo has to be sure that it doesn’t shut off West Avenue when the time comes for construction.

“We cannot allow you to close West Avenue,” says Sward. “It needs to be done where there’s at least one lane in each direction open at all times.”    

Mayo is making plans for a six-story “hospital bed tower” on its current site.  City staff says the building cannot be taller than 120 feet, under zoning rules for that neighborhood. 

“There wasn’t any measurement to the cooling tower or the mechanical units on the roof,” says city building inspector David Reinhart. “We would need those measurements to determine what the setbacks would be.”

The Mayo management also is considering whether to approve the design plans.          

Other areas of concern about the Mayo project are sufficient parking, and how flash flooding might be prevented on the property.  Mayo has suggested that construction might begin in March.            

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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