The city of La Crosse Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department is holding two public input sessions next month to discuss the future of the former fish hatchery building on the north end of Riverside Park.
The sessions will be from 4-5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 8, and from 5-6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 13, at the South Side Neighborhood Center at 1300 S. Sixth St.,
The future of the building, which is currently vacant but used to house Explore La Crosse and the county’s Historical Society museum, has been up for debate in recent weeks as the city has been aiming to redevelop the site into a wedding venue.
The early plans for the proposal include turning the existing building and its garage — both of which are on several historic registers — into an event venue that would include a beer garden and an upstairs Airbnb rental.
Neighbors have pushed back on the project, worried it could increase noise and compromise the environment of the park, while officials think the project would add to the park and is a chance to restore the historic building without city money.
Olivia Herken is the local government reporter at the La Crosse Tribune and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism. She can be found on Twitter @oherken, and reached at 608-791-8217.