La Crescent to build facility for community and veterans

Facility will cost an estimated $5 million

A proposed new building in La Crescent would give back to the community and its veterans.

A group of residents is hoping to build a new event center and join forces with the American Legion in town.

The proposed La Crescent Area Event Center is a 15,000-square-foot building with about 3,000 square feet dedicated to the American Legion.

A group of volunteers came up with the idea and created a nonprofit organization devoted to finding a solution benefiting the city and a struggling Legion.

The city of La Crescent has just under 5,000 residents.

It has everything that a community its size needs, except maybe an event center.

“I think most communities our size would be very excited about a project like this,” said La Crescent Mayor Mike Poellinger.

The event center would be big enough for about 400 people and would be used for events like wedding receptions, fundraisers and big meetings.

“In a small community like La Crescent, there isn’t one facility large enough to accommodate that many people,” Poellinger said.

Dick Wieser, president of the La Crescent Area Events Board, is part of the nonprofit build and run the event center.

“We’re a group of concerned citizens in the La Crescent area who want to work toward improving the quality of life in La Crescent,” Wieser said.

Wieser said the event center would be a win-win for everybody, including American Legion Post 595.

“It became apparent that they were having some financial difficulties, so we were going to pair it with the American Legion club and La Crescent Events Center,” Wieser said.

Wieser said the board wanted to include the Legion in the building because it has given so much to La Crescent and the surrounding area for decades.

“In the past 35-40 years, we’ve probably given up to $15 million to the local La Crescent and surrounding communities, and we’re very proud of that. That’s what the Legion is all about,” said Sy Fix, American Legion Post 595 commander.

Fix said the Legion couldn’t be more excited about the partnership because it is struggling financially and there are a lot of things that need fixing.

“Yeah, it would benefit us greatly. We wouldn’t have all the expenses that you have now of running a building and so forth. A lot of that would be melded into the event center, and so it would take a lot of the financial burden off our shoulders,” Fix said.

The event center board said the entire project will be funded by donations, which have been tough to come by recently.

Wieser said it is about a quarter of the way to its $3 million goal. It will not be using any taxpayer money for the project.

The event center has two potential locations, but will most likely be built on the site of the current American Legion.

Click here if you would like to donate to this project.