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Civic center in La Crosse will remain under city management, instead of private managers coming in



The La Crosse Center will stick with its current management structure for now, with the head of the park department continuing to manage the building as part of his job.

Center board president Brent Smith says board members chose that option at their latest meeting last week.

“Jay Odegaard is gonna be the head…the leader of the La Crosse Center,” said Smith. Odegaard is parks and recreation director for La Crosse, and has been assigned to manage Center operations following the retirement last year of the Center’s long-time director, Art Fahey.

The other option was to bring in a private management company to run things, but board members decided to stay with Odegaard, after conducting a study on how to operate the civic center. Smith says business is going well, so why change?

“It’s a natural fit,” he said. “From our view, the board’s view, it’s worked very well over the past year.”

Other staff openings at the La Crosse Center have been filled recently. Smith says the center is much busier now than usual during the summer months. The building hosted the state Republican convention this month, and is getting ready for the Cheers and Beers celebration on the 4th of July.

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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