Harry J. Olsen Senior Center in dire need of repairs, could be closing

City officials are in "sticker-shock"

City officials were discussing the future of the Harry J. Olsen Senior Center on Wednesday.

The Center on La Crosse’s northside is in dire need of repairs, and according to Mayor Kabat, those repairs would cost the city nearly $1.5 million.

The city budgeted $196,000 to make upgrades to the building, and were shocked to find that this money isn’t even enough to make emergency repairs.

The Harry J. Olsen Senior Center Board expressed the need to keep the organization’s doors open and continue offering services to area seniors. The city says they’re trying their best to help make sure this happens.

“Really for us it is a priority,” said Mayor Kabat. “Our struggle is with buildings – aging buildings – and trying to figure out… do we reinvest here or do we take those dollars and maybe look at a newer facility or some other option? We just have to figure out how to make that happen.”

The Senior Center’s Board President says they see about 600 seniors coming and going each week, and where these people will go if the center closes is uncertain.

Harry J. Olsen Senior Center’s lease with the city ends in 2020.

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