Chick-fil-A restaurant proposed for former school site in Onalaska

A Shorewood, Minn., firm seeks an amendment to allow fast-food spot and more retail space
Chick Fil A
A Chick-fil-A franchise is expected to rise on the old Fauver Hill Elementary School site.

ONALASKA, Wis. (WKBT) – A Chick-fil-A fast-food restaurant may rise on a vacant parcel where a historic elementary school once stood at what now is Hwy. 16 and South Coulee Kinney Road in Onalaska.

That’s the possibility raised in a proposal on an Onalaska Plan Commission subcommittee Tuesday agenda to consider an application of Venture Pass Partners of Shorewood, Minn., to amend an overlay district to allow space that would include a 5,000-square-foot restaurant and another restaurant/retail space on the 3-acre site that once was Fauver Hill Elementary School.

The application stipulates Chick-fil-A as the restaurant, according to planning manager Katie Aspenson. Venture Pass plans to buy the parcel from Gundersen Health System in La Crosse, according to the application. Gundersen, which has owned the building since 1999, used it as a clinic and health education center for several years before shifting it to storage.

The building fell into disrepair, and Gundersen demolished it in October 2018 after determining that it was not suitable even to rehab for a medical purpose.

When it was built in 1924, Fauver Hill Elementary was on a large knoll surrounded by but farm fields, trees and bluffs as far as the eye could see.

If the Plan Commission Subcommittee recommends approval on Tuesday, the proposal will go to a full commission with a public hearing on March 24. From there, if recommended, it would go to Common Council for final consideration, possibly on April 14.