Roosevelt Elementary’s future is up for discussion

Roosevelt Elementary School is the oldest building in the La Crosse district. It was built in 1923. The building only has a few months left as an elementary school so now the process begins to decide its future.

City Councilwomen Andrea Richmond has lived near Roosevelt for more than 30 years. She would like to see the building stay standing but repurposed.

“It’s a solid structure, it was built with WPA funds way back and I think to save the school is by far my goal,” Richmond said.

Another one of her goals is to get whatever the property becomes on the tax rolls.

“Importantly, we need to lower our taxes and by having this structure put on the tax rolls we’ll lower our taxes down the road,” Richmond said.

La Crosse School District Superintendent Randy Nelson agrees.

“The primary premise that we’re moving forward with first in this whole exchange is to bring the property onto the tax rolls,” Nelson said.

The school board wants to get input from the public before making any decisions.

“They’re providing an opportunity for the neighbors in the Roosevelt area to provide input and feedback to the school board about the future of that block.”

Nelson says there’s one idea the district has already heard a few times.

“Perhaps this could become a senior center or senior living center through the private sector, senior apartments kind of a thing,” Nelson said.

No matter what decision is made for the school’s future, lowering taxes for La Crosse is the top priority.

“Little by little if we can have more things go back on the tax rolls that will help everyone that pays taxes in the city of La Crosse,” Richmond says.

The La Crosse School Board is holding a meeting on Monday Feb. 10 to get public input on the building’s future. It’s at 6:30 p.m. at Roosevelt Elementary.