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Neighbors of Lincoln Middle School swap ideas for building’s future



People from the Lincoln school neighborhood meet at the school on May 10, 2023 (PHOTO: Brad Williams).

When one of La Crosse’s oldest existing schools closes its doors this summer, what will happen to the building?

About 50 people met at Lincoln Middle School on Wednesday night for group discussions about the school’s future.

La Crosse Schools superintendent, Dr. Aaron Engel, was stationed at a table, reviewing ideas that came from one of the discussion groups.

“So housing came up, kind of as number one, and then access to food in the area was another,” Engel said, after the first group met at his table.

People attending a Lincoln Middle School meeting put stickers on posters to vote on ideas for using the building (PHOTO: Brad Williams).

The middle school will close in August, as a way to save money for the school district — about $2 million a year.

Planners from the ISG company asked those attending the meeting to show their preference for what the area needs.

Jack Zabrowski with ISG said the scores will be used to measure the popularity of ideas.

“Five points for this, six points for that,” he said, “and then you’ll get a score at the end, and this process will help develop those criteria.”

Guests at the meeting switched from table to table to debate building plans with their neighbors.

The ISG architecture group will review the ideas and votes to come up with new options for the school.

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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