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Recently closed south La Crosse library could be converted into housing



The former South Community Library in La Crosse may be repurposed for housing.

The city’s Economic and Community Development Commission endorsed a proposal Wednesday to put up to six housing units in the library building on 16th Street, and construct more housing on other parts of the block.

The commission reviewed plans from three potential developers before making a recommendation for a project called Willow Grove.

Residents in the neighborhood have spoken in favor of ideas that preserve the old library, which opened in the 1950s.

“The proposal for Willow Grove shows redevelopment inside of the library, so keeping the library building, and then an addition of two town home twindo units on the north side of that property,” city planning director Andrea Trane said at the meeting.

An additional housing unit proposed for the library block could be removed from the plan.

City officials would have to negotiate with the buyers before a development plan is final.

The assessed value of the building and land is $348,000.

The library board voted to close the branch last year to save money, leaving the city with two public libraries — one on Main Street and the other on Kane Street.

At previous community meetings about the library building, neighborhood residents said they wouldn’t want the structure used as a homeless shelter or replaced by a business, such as a Kwik Trip.

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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