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Northside Elementary School construction remains "on schedule"

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La Crosse, WI (WXOW) -

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – Despite the severe winter, steady progress has been made at Northside Elementary School.

Located on the corner of Kane and Gillette Streets, the city tore down Franklin Elementary School last July to make room for a brand new school. In 2012, La Crosse residents voted to combine Franklin and Roosevelt Elementary Schools by the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year and have only one elementary school on La Crosse’s northside.

Since breaking ground in September, according to the District’s Buildings & Grounds Supervisor Joe Ledvina, construction has gone “very well”.

Northside Elementary school will nearly double the size of Franklin. The new school will also have improved kitchen space and natural lighting among other new features.

“None of our schools have a backup generator. If we lose power, we will be able to turn on our backup generator and function normally in this building,” Ledvina said.

Ledvina said construction on Northside Elementary is scheduled to be completed by mid-August. Students from Roosevelt Elementary will transition from Roosevelt into Northside by next school year, meaning the Roosevelt Elementary building will be vacant.

La Crosse Schools Superintendent Randy Nelson said he will listen closely to ideas of what is next for the Roosevelt building. “We are using the feedback we received from our Roosevelt neighbors about how to move that process forward,” Nelson said.

Nelson said the community will have the opportunity to propose their ideas on what the city should do with the Roosevelt building this upcoming summer. A decision on the building’s fate could be made as early as August, but as of now, Nelson said he isn’t exactly sure what will happen with it.

“It could be demolished, it could be renovated, but it’s really going to be based on whatever proposals we do receive on this,” Nelson said.

Once September rolls around, Ledvina said he believes students will enjoy the new building.

“They’re going to be excited when they come in here the first day. This is double the size of what Franklin was, so they’ll maybe be a little overwhelmed. I think when they get into the building, they’re going to be excited to see all their new surroundings,” Ledvina said.

Ledvina said he believes Northside Elementary will be a core part of the community, as it will not only serve as an Elementary School. Ledvina and Nelson both said they plan to use the building for Parks and Recreation programs and community meetings among other functions.

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