Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
Press Release

La Crosse County receives $250,000 state grant to support construction of new gymnasiums

WEDC investment to help fund collaborative project between Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse, Holmen Area Community Center and School District of Holmen

By - Aug 20th, 2020 09:27 am

MADISON, WI. AUGUST  20, 2020La Crosse County is receiving a $250,000 state grant to help fund the second phase of a renovation project for a new Boys & Girls Club and community center in Holmen.

The Community Development Investment Grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) will support a collaborative effort between the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse, Holmen Area Community Center, and the School District of Holmen to renovate the 35,000-square-foot former home of Festival Foods into a new club and community center with a 16,000-square-foot field house addition (two gymnasiums with four courts). The project is expected to be completed by September of this year.

“This project not only addresses a gap in community programming and services in Holmen, but will also become a hub of the community, spurring future investment and growth in the area,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “WEDC knows that community success is directly linked to quality services, which is why we support positive and substantive local development projects to encourage economic growth and improve the quality of life.”

The Boys & Girls Club will occupy most of the space, and currently has a construction contract with DBS Group of Onalaska to be the general contractor for the project. The School District of Holmen will occupy approximately 5,000 square feet in the facility as a new location for their alternative school program. The nonprofit Holmen Area Community Center will occupy approximately 7,000 square feet in the facility as they begin to offer a variety of community programs.

“Our new Holmen Boys & Girls Club and Community Center will provide a safe haven for individuals of all ages and backgrounds, a place to learn and grow. The support and dedication from many in our community is making this project a reality,” said Jake Erickson, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse executive director.  “WEDC is one of our project champions; with their support, our collaborative project will impact countless lives for decades to come.”

As the La Crosse area continues to expand, the community of Holmen has become one of the fastest-growing regions in the state and has the largest middle and high schools in the county. This project seeks to provide a central location for after-school youth programming and mentoring as well as a place to build community fellowship. Currently, Holmen residents have been traveling outside the community to access these much-needed services and programs.

“Receiving this grant is an incredible testimony to WEDC’s commitment to support and enhance the Holmen area,” said Mary Lin Wershofen, Holmen Area Community Center president. “Such support will allow for sustained efforts on the part of the Holmen Area Community Center to partner with the Boys & Girls Club to provide quality programs and services, enhancing the lives of area youth, families and senior citizens.”

The Boys & Girls Club and Holmen Area Community Center are excited to serve youth and seniors on a daily basis within this new facility. These gymnasiums will not only serve Holmen citizens, but will also be used by visitors attending tournaments and events that this space will be able to host.

“La Crosse County is proud to be able to support this collaborative community project that will create opportunities for multigenerational programming, and in turn, improve the quality of life for so many people for generations to come,” said Monica Kruse, La Crosse County Board chair. “We are so grateful to WEDC for their support of this important project for the future of our county.”

WEDC’s Community Development Investment Grant Program supports community development and redevelopment efforts, primarily in downtown areas. The matching grants are awarded based on the ability of applicants to demonstrate the economic impact of the proposed project, including public and private partnership development, financial need and use of sustainable downtown development practices.

Since the program’s inception in 2013, WEDC has awarded more than $30 million in Community Development Investment Grants to over 100 communities for projects expected to generate more than $500 million in capital investments statewide.

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