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State grant aids new Holmen center

State grant aids new Holmen center

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A $250,000 state grant will help complete gymnasium space for the new Boys & Girls Club and Holmen Area Community Center.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is providing a Community Development Investment Grant to La Crosse County for the Holmen project, which is expected to open Sept. 1.

The project is a collaborative effort by the Boys & Girls Club, community center and School District of Holmen housed in the former Festival Foods in Holmen.

Dave and Barb Skogen donated the former Festival building on Holmen Drive and provided $5 million toward renovation.

And the community is nearing its $3.5 million fundraising goal.

The state grant will help fund a 16,000-square-foot field house addition (two gymnasiums with four courts).

Holmen is one of the fastest-growing communities in the region, and has had little independent space for community activities.

The new center is designed to provide after-school space for children, alternative school programming, multi-generation mentorship and community activities.

“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 general contractor

The School District of Holmen will occupy about 5,000 square feet in the facility as a new location for its alternative school program.

The nonprofit Holmen Area Community Center will occupy about 7,000 square feet 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.”

Mary Lin Wershofen, Holmen Area Community Center president, said: “Receiving this grant is an incredible testimony to WEDC’s commitment to support and enhance the Holmen area. 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 will serve youth and seniors on a daily basis within this new facility. The 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 more than 100 communities for projects expected to generate more than $500 million in capital investments statewide.

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