La Crosse County receives $250,000 grant for new gymnasiums

WEDC investment to help fund collaborative project between Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse, Holmen Area Community Center and School District of Holmen
Boys And Girls Holmen

MADISON, Wis. (WKBT) – La Crosse County is receiving a $250,000 state grant to help fund the second phase of a renovation project for a new Boys & Girls Club and community center in Holmen.

The Community Development Investment Grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) will support a collaborative effort between the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse, Holmen Area Community Center, and the School District of Holmen to renovate the 35,000-square-foot former home of Festival Foods into a new club and community center with a 16,000-square-foot field house addition (two gymnasiums with four courts). The project is expected to be completed next month.

“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 the general contractor for the project. The School District of Holmen will occupy approximately 5,000 square feet in the facility as a new location for their alternative school program. The nonprofit Holmen Area Community Center will occupy approximately 7,000 square feet in the facility as they begin 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.”

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.

“Receiving this grant is an incredible testimony to WEDC’s commitment to support and enhance the Holmen area,” said Mary Lin Wershofen, Holmen Area Community Center president. “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.”