La Crosse Center Board members discuss future plans ahead of Exec. Dir. Art Fahey’s retirement

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – La Crosse Center’s Executive Director Art Fahey retires in one month, following more than two decades in the position.

Board members say Fahey set a high bar.

At a board meeting on Monday night, members discussed what they think should happen after Fahey’s retirement.

The city has been running the La Crosse Center for 40 years, but there are discussions about contracting a management company to take over instead of hiring a new executive director.

“I think with this new building and the expansion, and the mayor has expressed the idea, obviously the timing of your executive director who’s been here 22 years, 32 altogether in the building, is out, maybe that’s time to look at things,” said Chair Brent Smith.

Smith says the Center, under Fahey, has had great financial success.

He says he doesn’t look at it as trying to fix a problem but as an opportunity to look at different ways to run the Center.

If Mayor Mitch Reynolds and the Common Council decide to name a new executive director, Smith says they have a big job ahead of them.

“As far as the financial viability of the building, obviously the expansion that we’ve had, just the impact he’s had on the community, the Center interacting with our community, it’s very, very hard, big shoes to fill for anyone who comes in here,” said Smith.

Smith says Fahey will be missed at the Center, but he’s glad Fahey is planning to stay in La Crosse and continue having a positive impact on the community.

Fahey is set to retire on October 20th.