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School District weighs in on future of Roosevelt building

By Leah Linscheid, llinscheid@wkbt.com
Published On: Jul 21 2014 03:56:18 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 21 2014 06:54:40 PM CDT

The La Crosse School District is just beginning the process to decide the future of one of its oldest schools.

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) -

The La Crosse School District is just beginning the process to decide the future of one of its oldest schools.

Developers are looking to re-purpose Roosevelt Elementary into housing. None of the historic building would be ripped down, though a couple of the proposals call for construction in the playspace outside the school.

The school district is just beginning to take a look at the options on the table, while the city does the same in its own vetting process.

"There are a lot of moving pieces at this point," said district administrator Randy Nelson.

Option 1: Developer Impact Seven would convert the school into 18 to 20 senior housing units and a community center, along with the construction of 16 townhomes in the playground space.

Option 2: Developer Commonwealth Companies would create 32 housing units inside the school and construct of 12 townhomes.

Option 3: Developer Gorman and Company would create 23 housing units in the school, with four external townhome buildings, each comprising four units.

Three of those proposals offer $300,000 for the building, while Commonwealth Companies is offering $170,000.

"We certainly viable offers and offers that I think that provide a considerable amount for the building and at the same time do have some interesting plans for that particular block," Nelson said.

Aside from the price tag, school officials say they want to pick the best fit for the community.

"We've had significant discussions over the last several years about the need for housing and the quality of housing in our community, and I think that anytime we can provide options for people moving into the community, new people coming in or peopl e relocating back to the community, I think that's a good thing to do," Nelson said.

La Crosse's Board of Education will sit down Monday night after its regular meeting to go through all four proposals. Next week,  they'll begin interviewing developers to narrow down the choice. The Board of Education will make a final decision on which proposal to move forward with by the end of September.

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