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La Crosse business group speaks out against school merger referendum

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A yard sign campaign against a La Crosse school referendum has now expanded to include opposition from a business group.

The North La Crosse Business Association says its members are overwhelmingly opposed to spending $194 million to convert a Trane Company office building into a new south-side high school.

“After thoughtfully listening to the school district, we surveyed the NLBA members,” said NLBA rep Vicki Markussen, a former director of the La Crosse Chamber of Commerce. “These are more than 90 small local businesses, and 86 per cent of them are opposed” to the referendum, she said.

Derek Mueller is the pastor of Northside Community Church. He believes that kids in sports and other programs could be forced out of participation if it takes too long to travel to and from school.

“For those that lack the necessary resources, that 15-minute commute becomes a barrier that directly impacts academic success because it impacts school activity, school attendance, and co-curricular activity,” said Mueller.

Local realtor Elaine Yager also questions the proposed merger of Logan and Central at the Trane building. Yager says the new building would already be filled to capacity. if both high schools are put together there.

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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