A La Crosse school named after a U.S. president, which is about to close after a century of classes, could be named a historic site in the city.
The nomination of Lincoln Middle School as a historic landmark has gotten a positive vote from La Crosse’s Heritage Preservation Commission. A public hearing on the proposal is expected next month.
Chris Woodard of the city council told the commission that he would like to see Lincoln remain as an important piece of the Washburn neighborhood.
“We can’t be getting rid of historic structures like this, for mundane things like building a new development,” said Woodard. “That doesn’t make much sense. There’s much more use left in this building, if done right.”
The La Crosse School District voted to close Lincoln at the end of the school year, as a money-saving measure. It was just included on this year’s list of the Most Endangered Buildings in La Crosse, along with the Hogan Administrative Center for the school system.
Another council member, Tamra Dickinson, tells the commission that she’s heard from people who live near Lincoln.
“They were very interested in being sure that it would still be a community hub,” she said, “and that was part of their interest, to try and get more use of the building itself and the auditorium.”
The historic label would apply only to the original building from the 1920’s, and not the cafeteria portion added in the 50’s.