New plans revealed for Roosevelt Elementary building

Developer tweaked its original proposal

Roosevelt Elementary School on La Crosse’s north side has been vacant now for about four months. The company hoping to change that has presented new ideas about what will become of the nearly 100-year-old building.

The Oregon, Wisconcin,-based developer Gorman & Company, Inc., is putting public feedback to use after several listening sessions. Before anything changes at Roosevelt, the city, school district and developer need to work together.

After meeting with the community on multiple occasions the developer has tweaked its original proposal.

“What’s being proposed at this particular point is one in which there are no other homes around the perimeter, but that the only thing that would be done is to work inside of the Roosevelt building. Probably put 30-35 apartments in there that would be one, two or maybe a couple three-bedroom apartments and then leave the perimeter around the building as more green space,” La Crosse School District Superintendent Randy Nelson said.

Gorman & Company, has two ideas: either family apartments or senior apartments. The decision will be made based on a market study the company is wrapping up this month.

“This is not just developing, but it’s also investing. So they’re really concerned and interested to make sure that before they continue down the path and do the investing that they will have to do to make this project occur, that they’ve done sufficient market study to make sure that what they’re planning to do is something that actually addresses a need in the community, also in the neighborhood,” Nelson said.

Gorman & Company, has said it wants as much community involvement in the process as possible. It’s even applying for a type of development permit requiring public opinion for any changes that need to be made during the entire process.

And involving the Roosevelt neighbors is exactly what the school district wants.

“We’ve been tenants there for almost 100 years and they’ve been good neighbors for us and we want to do what we can to be good neighbors back and leave that space in the best position that we can for the neighborhood,” Nelson said.

Gorman & Company, Inc. is currently going through the zoning process with the city. That will be done in early November.

The next step will be applying for historical and low income housing tax credits due in February.

The La Crosse school district said if everything goes as planned construction could begin next fall.

Click here for a link to the full Gorman & Company, Inc. proposal.