This Thursday is another busy day for Center La Crosse, with the State Municipal League meeting at the Civic Center. But it’s a big day for the building in another way…it’s retirement day for the center director Art Fahey.
He has been in charge of the Center since 2000, when the building was first extended, and he led the latest renovation which was completed last year. The center’s board chairman, Brent Smith, told fellow council members Wednesday that the latest addition has had a major impact on the downtown area.
“It had such an influence, not just on this building, but on all of downtown La Crosse,” Smith says. “Look at the hotels that have been built. These were built at least in part because they knew we were going to make an addition.
Fahey first came to the Center in 1990 to work on marketing, and rose to director 10 years later. Center board member Phil Addis says he remembers the first time Art was hired…because Phil’s father, Joe Addis, was on the board at the time.
“I get a phone call at 6 a.m.,” Phil recalls. He says his father said to him, “There’s this guy from Art who worked on the radio. Will he get me in trouble?
Phil told Joe that he had known Art for many years and didn’t think he would be a problem, to which Joe replied “Well, you know, if he gives me problems, I I’m going to resent you.”
Board of Directors The center is still discussing the advisability of entering into short-term contracts with companies that could help organize concerts or conventions.