LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) — The Mayo Clinic Health System hopes its new La Crosse hospital will improve surrounding neighborhoods.
After work began in April, construction is well advanced on the six-storey, 70-bed hospital, which represents the largest construction project in the history of Mayo Clinic.
In addition to improving health care in the Coulee area, Mayo Clinic Director of Community Engagement Jennifer Livingston believes the facility will enrich homes and businesses in the same area.
“We said it was kind of the beating heart of this area, of this community,” Livingston said. “It’s our biggest dream that down the road we can continue to uplift this area of the city.”
Livingston says the Mayo Clinic is trying to develop a vision of what the neighborhoods around the hospital might look like, so it’s bringing in an architecture, engineering and planning firm ISG.
On Wednesday, the society hosted a public comment session at Lincoln Middle School to discuss with community members how they would like to see their neighborhood develop.
“What better time than now to start talking to the community and figuring out what people want to see in the future,” said ISG practice group leader Will Kratt. “How can things like the hospital be leveraged for a better quality of life.”
Homeowners around the Mayo Clinic say they want this higher quality of life to include more local grocery options and better housing.
The goal for Kratt is to gather enough feedback to provide stakeholders who can act on the ideas.
“The hope is that this is some kind of documentation, data collection and input, that anyone can really use,” Kratt explained. “City could use it, neighborhood associations, Mayo Clinic Health System.”
Although the Mayo Clinic does not have any additional near-term development plans, Livingston agrees that community suggestions could help shape future projects.
“Before anything is put on the table, we really want to hear what our neighbors are really dreaming about, as well as our peer organizations and businesses,” Livingston added.
ISG plans to hold more community comment sessions over the coming months, and Kratt is encouraging the public to provide feedback as well. on line.
The new hospital is expected to complete construction by the end of 2024.
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