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Neighbors of closed La Crosse library branch offer ideas on potential uses for building



Around 40 people, including city officials, attend a neighborhood meeting at the Faith United Methodist Church on Redfield Street in La Crosse, raising their hands for different options for reusing the old South Branch Public Library (PHOTO: Brad Williams)

Imagine that a large piece of property opens up in your neighborhood and you and the neighbors have to figure out how to use it.

That’s the situation being faced by the Holy Trinity-Longfellow neighborhood in La Crosse, because the South Branch library has closed.

The south branch library in La Crosse closed on November 29th, 2023, because of budget cuts (PHOTO: Brad Williams)

About 40 people, including several city officials, met in the basement of the Faith United Methodist Church on Monday night to suggest ideas for the vacant building, which the La Crosse Library board voted to close last December, after $100,000 in city budget cuts to the library system.

Housing development received a large number of votes. Other ideas included using the land for a bar, a bank, a Kwik Trip or any similar 24-hour business.

People attending the meeting also wanted to be sure that a new use for the library does not disturb Tower Park, located on the building’s east side.

City committees and the common council will discuss ideas at their February meetings.

A tentative schedule proposes that the council would choose a development proposal by April or May.

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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