New elementary school has big impact outside classroom

The new Northside Elementary School is the first new school in the La Crosse School District in 20 years.

Parents and students were very excited to see their new school Tuesday morning, and Superintendent Randy Nelson said there may be a bit more excitement for the first day this year because students get to walk into the brand-new building.

Even over at City Hall they’re excited for the new school year to start, because officials believe the benefits from the new school will stretch far beyond the classroom.

“It’s a beautiful school. I think they’ve done a great job,” La Crosse resident and father of two kids attending Northside Elementary Derek Mueller said.

Muller lives just two blocks up the road from the new Northside Elementary School. He says around his neighborhood kids seem more excited to go school and be in the new building.

“Just being in different stores and talking to different neighbors, there’s just a lot of buzz about it so people are just really excited to have this here,” Mueller said.

Muller said he is even hearing about families wanting to move to La Crosse’s Northside to go to the new school.

“It’s just more of a draw and I think part of the overall revitalization of the Northside and a sense of pride and community in the neighborhood,” Mueller said.

City Council member and Logan Middle School resource officer Dempsey Miller says he’s hearing the same thing.

“The folks are really fired up. People are really excited about the Northside school. Everybody I talk to they’re fired up, they want their kids in there, they want some part of what we’ve got going on here on the Northside,” Miller said.

That’s not surprising to District Superintendent Randy Nelson because he said a school has a big impact on it’s neighbors.

“I know that this school is going to serve as a beacon, as a lighthouse if you will for our Northside neighborhoods,” Nelson said.

La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat says that shining light will now be guiding people to the Northside.

“It’ll created a ripple effect all throughout the neighborhood, all throughout that part of the city where folks will want to reinvest and it becomes just that much more attractive for families who are looking for a place to live,” Kabat said.

“Not only does it add beauty and scenery to the Northside, but it also brings a great sense of belonging, a great sense of clearing house resources for the families and community in La Crosse, a sense of hope,” Miller said.

Miller said the community on the Northside is rallying around the new school so much they’ve created a neighborhood association. He says the group of parents, local leaders and community members will be working with the school and educators to improve this part of the city.

If you would like to check out the new building, the district is hosting an open house Thursday, Sept. 18, from 4-7 p.m. It is open to the public and there will be tours given by staff throughout the event.