Viroqua Area Schools (VAS) and Vernon Memorial Healthcare (VMH) have announced the sale of VMH’s former Fairhaven property to VAS. The deal was voted upon and announced at the school district’s annual meeting on Sept. 20. Closing on the property, located at 601 Arena Drive, is expected before the end of the year.
“We are pleased that this property is being acquired by the school district for the benefit of Viroqua’s students and families,” said David Hartberg, CEO/Administrator at VMH. “VMH and VAS have a long history of working together and I know the transition of this building to them will ensure that it will continue to serve an important purpose.”
VAS reports that early discussions regarding plans for the 11,000 square-foot building have included early childhood development, including birth-to-three or Head Start services, child care services, 4K classes and administrative offices. In addition to the space provided by the new location, the possibility of moving the district offices would open up much-needed space in the elementary building, where the offices are currently housed.
“We are very excited about the prospect of offering early childhood services,” said VAS Business Services Director Mike Brendel. “The earlier we can assist our young students with needs they may have, the more successful they will be as they begin their academic journey with us.”
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Brendel added that plans will be finalized in the coming months, with a target for occupancy of the building by the end of 2022.
“We are thankful to VMH for this partnership,” added VAS District Administrator Tom Burkhalter. “VMH has been a long-standing pillar of the community. During a time in our country when healthcare has needed the support of the community, VMH continues to step up and serve our families.”