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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Neighborhood center with solar hosts grand opening

From a story on WXOW-TV, La Crosse:

LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) -- The Black River Neighborhood Center is complete.

To commemorate that milestone, La Crosse's Park and Rec Department held a grand opening at the beach house.

Mike Novak and his son Nick visit family in La Crosse often and enjoy seeing the area while they're at it.

"Oh yeah, beautiful. We were talking about, look at that view coming down the road. You wind down and there's the bluffs and stuff," Mike says.

They came to the North Side to see the Black River and happened to catch the grand opening of the new neighborhood center.

"We had to come check it out, definitely," Mike says.

Around eight years ago, the city took a look at how to improve the North-South Corridor.

Citizens and business owners started a plan to renovate the old bath house that was there.

After talking to the community about what they wanted, the city decided a new building was worth the investment.

"Four years ago, I would have said, 'The building will be about this size and will have running water, and it'll be clean.' I didn't have this vision. I truly didn't. But it's marvelous," says North side merchant Randy Eddy, Sr..

"From a $40,000 renovation of a bath house, it ended up being a $1.3 million community facility," says Steve Carlyon, Park and Recreation Director.

The 8,000 square-foot facility is set up for different uses, like parties, wedding receptions or just relaxing.

It uses green technology, like geo-thermal and solar energy.

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