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The Million Dollar Research Projects

Allison Steele, Student Government Reporter

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On Dec. 12 students from the ECO 321 course presented their proposals in front of city hall and county representatives. These students wrote a proposal for a school project that theoretically gives them 1 million dollars to create an economic development project.

Most of the presentations that were given were about housing for low-income families and also senior living spaces. Other ones were about students or children’s education in La Crosse. Another proposal was about fixing up the pool and adding to it. All of the students were concerned about the La Crosse community and wanted to make it better.

One of the first proposals was to make a government-run child daycare. It was given by Zach Cowoll and Riley Prochow. In order to complete this project, they would need pay for workers, money for supplies, rent, and insurance. The benefits of the daycare would be an increase in labor supplies and socioeconomic growth and would provide higher child care for low-income families.

Student, Kyle Jahnke also focused on education in his proposal. He wanted to focus on 4-year-old preschools in La Crosse. This is important for both parents and students. The parents want a smooth transition for their kids for when they go to an elementary school. The schools he is looking to do this with are Coulee Children’s Care, YWCA Child Care, and Congressional Preschool. According to the principal at State Road Elementary these schools need the most help and improvement. Jahnke is looking to hire one additional teacher to these three centers to lower student to teacher ratio and to improve overall quality.

Other students that presented focused on housing, such as Wesley Herried. There are no available senior units in the La Crosse housing authority. He proposed to build a 30-60unit housing which would be placed in the pre-owned plot by Becker Plaza downtown. This senior living area would provide opportunities for seniors who are having trouble with living at their house.

Another housing solution was to build apartments for low-income families. This idea was presented by Kelli Robson, Emy Janssen, and Kyle Chase. The bluffs and rivers block the city from expanding outward which causes a decrease in property value and a large number of commuters. This apartment complex would help decrease crime rates, increase neighborhood diversity and provide an affordable place to live.

One other project was adding four more 25-yard lanes to Erickson Pool, presented by Emily Greenya and Kane Schrader. This addition would add economic value to La Crosse. It would also be very beneficial to competitive swimming programs. In a survey, both Greenya and Schrader found that there was a demand for a pool. The construction of the project would start in Oct. 2018 and would finish in one year.  Construction would have to take in account the weather.

When audience member Reece Banta, freshmen at UWL, was asked what proposal she would like to see in La Crosse and which would be most used she answered, “I liked the pool proposal because I think it would be beneficial to the most people.”

Every student that presented put a lot of thought into their project and really took into account what could benefit the people of the La Crosse.

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