PROPOSED VETERANS FREEDOM PARK

RECREATIONAL CENTER

Objective

The La Crosse Curling Club (LCC), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, plans to build a $2.2 million multipurpose recreational center at Veterans Freedom Park to be used for curling in the winter months and by La Crosse area residents as a park shelter and for public rental during the summer months.

Benefits of a Dedicated Curling Facility

Curling is a sport for everyone regardless of age, economic situation, gender or physical condition. It is a sport of inclusion, teamwork, camaraderie, skill, and sportsmanship. The La Crosse curling club currently rents ice time at the Green Island hockey arena with limited ability to serve the community and poor-quality curling ice. The La Crosse Curling Club is the only club, of the 28 in Wisconsin, curling on hockey arena ice.

 

•Dedicated facility will allow LCC to offer high quality curling to our community in order to continue the expansion and growth of curling in La Crosse.

•It will enable LCC to offer area youth a wholesome after-school and weekend winter athletic activity on a broad scale. We will offer junior curler leagues and instruction at no charge. We will be working with the:

   La Crosse School District

   •Boys and Girls Club

   •Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts

•LCC will offer adaptive curling for people in wheelchairs, the deaf, and other special needs groups.

•We will offer senior leagues.

•The facility will be available to Viterbo and UW-L collegiate teams and competitions.

• With high quality ice and unlimited availability, LCC will be able to hold multiple bonspiels (tournaments) and state and national curling events which may bring as many as 1,000 visitors to La Crosse each year.

Other Benefits to the Community

The facility will be a fully equipped shelter for City use and public rental at Veterans Freedom Park across the Black River from Copeland Park along Clinton Street. It will be a park facility with washrooms, a kitchen, a smaller enclosed social area, and a large enclosed open area unlike any other shelter in the City.

•There is currently no shelter at Veterans Freedom Park, yet the park is used by thousands of people each year for sporting events, including:

   

   •600 children a year play soccer at the Park.
   •300 children a year use the fields for Boys and Girls Club football.
   •150 people use the fields in the summer for ultimate frisbee.
   •1,000 children participate in Youth Outdoor Fest each year, with 2-3,000 people in attendance in total.
   •There are 12-15 fishing tournaments per year at the Park.
   •The Dragon Boat Event takes place there, as well as other events.

In all these cases, the facility can be used as a headquarters, rain shelter, etc.

•The facility will offer a large space and amenities unlike any other shelter in the city which makes it uniquely attractive for public rental for:

 

   •Community events and festivals.

   •Birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, weddings, and family reunions.

   •Craft markets.

•In addition to organizing local leagues and Learn-to-Curl events, the Club holds tournaments bringing tourism to La Crosse. The Club’s goal is to hold multiple tournaments per year, including national championships and Olympic qualifying events, bringing as many as 1,000 visitors to the area annually. Curling enhances a community by:

   •Providing a winter activity for the whole family, inclusive of all demographics.

   •Creating a healthy social outlet for the youth and citizens of La Crosse.

   •Strengthening the fabric of the City and its neighborhoods.

   •Providing another reason to choose La Crosse when considering a place to call home.

Financial Agreement with the City

In a partnership between the La Crosse Curling Club and the City of La Crosse, the City will provide:

 

   •The land
   •Site preparation

   •Utility connections

The construction of the facility is projected to cost $2.2 million. The Club will endeavor to raise money through:

 

   •Material and equipment discounts and donations.
   •An interest free loan from the World Curling Federation.

   •Cash donations from Club members and the public.

The Club will build the facility

and donate it to the City.

Via a long-term lease agreement, the Club will then use the facility for curling primarily from October through March each year and the City will use the facility during most of April through September.

Why Curling?

A unique aspect of curling is that a person’s height, strength or speed is not integral to competitive play. As long as someone is able to push the stone down the ice, he or she can begin curling. And unlike most sports, where a highly skilled player simply cannot play against or with a beginner, the nature of curling allows an Olympic athlete and a beginner to be teammates, and if paired against a similarly skilled team, all will enjoy and be challenged by the game.

Curling has a wide demographic appeal because almost any age group can play. Male or female, young or old, players with years of experience or who are just beginners, people in wheelchairs or who are hearing impaired, can all enjoy playing.

Curling is a game of skill and traditions. The game of curling has always been noted for the prevalence of good sportsmanship among its members and the friendly, courteous rivalry that exists on and off the ice. Curlers play to win, but only to win fairly, and never to humble their opponents.

Although it does not take a lot of strength to throw a stone, sweeping the stone to the desired area can be strenuous and a player can walk well over a mile over the course of a game. The good thing about sweeping is though it may be more laborious work, it is only for a quick period of time and individuals can easily vary their efforts in this part of the game to suit their fitness levels. Curling is a good winter activity that helps people stay in shape.

Curling in La Crosse

La Crosse has a long history of curling, having first been introduced to the City in1914 by Harry Watkins and Arthur Dusty. In 1917 a rink house was built behind the Pearl Button Works, and in 1937 the Club converted a cattle barn at the Interstate Fairgrounds (18th and Badger Streets) into a larger rink house. By 1948, La Crosse curlers Harry Watkins, Milt Kyseth, Jim Arenz and Bud Holley won the national championship in Utica, NY. In 1977, the Club began curling on the north side near Oak and Palace streets, and in 2010 the Club began curling at its present site at the Green Island Ice Arena. Curling has grown rapidly in La Crosse since 2010, but is now limited in its ability to grow due to the lack of a dedicated curling facility and daily access to curling ice.

FAQ

La Crosse Curling Club, Inc.

The La Crosse Curling Club is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the lifetime, intergenerational recreational sport of curling. It is governed by a seven- person Board that meets monthly throughout the year.

What are you planning to build?

The Veterans Freedom Park Recreation Center will be an enclosed multipurpose recreation center at Veterans Freedom Park across the Black River from Copeland Park. It will be used as a park shelter available for City use and public rental in the summer months, and as a 4-sheet (lane) curling center in the winter months. It will have a larger open area with a concrete floor (covered with ice in the winter) and a smaller, furnished social area with a kitchen and washrooms. The larger area will be nearly 11,000 square feet {66’x 166’).

When will it get built?

The goal is to complete it by the fall of 2021.

Why is it being built?

  1. Veterans Freedom Park is used each year by thousands of people and there is no shelter at the park for the children and adults who use it. It will be available for community events, festivals, and family celebrations.

  2. La Crosse is the only one of 28 cities in Wisconsin where people curl that does not have a dedicated facility. At this time curling is only available for a few hours each week on rented hockey ice. This ice is rough with skate gouges that make curling difficult. The limited time also decreases the number of people who can participate in this healthy, entertaining winter activity.

  3. It will offer area youth a wholesome after-school and weekend winter athletic activity on a broad scale. The La Crosse Curling Club, which will rent the center in the winter, will offer junior curler leagues and instruction at no charge working with the La Crosse School District, the Boys and Girls Club, and the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. The center will also be available to UW-L and Viterbo collegiate teams and competitions.

  4. The La Crosse Curling Club will offer adaptive curling for people in wheelchairs, the deaf and other special needs groups. It will offer adult recreational and senior leagues.

  5. With high quality ice and unlimited availability, the La Crosse Curling Club will hold multiple bonspiels (tournaments) and state and national curling events each year drawing tourists to La Crosse.

How much will the center cost and who will pay for it?

The construction of the center is projected to cost about $2.2 million. In a partnership between the City of La Crosse and the La Crosse Curling Club, the City will provide the land, site preparation and utility connections. The La Crosse Curling Club will endeavor to raise the money to build and furnish the building through approximately $2.0 million in donations.

Who will own the building and maintain it?

The City will own the building. Once the building is constructed by the La Crosse Curling Club, it will be donated to the City. The Club will then rent the building six months each year via a long term lease that will specify who is responsible for which building costs. The curling stones and other curling equipment will continue to be owned by the La Crosse Curling Club.

Will there be adequate parking?

There will be parking in front of the building and there is an existing large parking lot across the street from the site.

Will the building be at risk of flooding?

The building will be above food plain levels.

What if I donate money and you don't raise enough money to build?

In the unlikely event the project does not proceed, your donation will be refunded.

What percentage of my donation will go toward administrative costs?

Less that 1% because our only costs will be printing and postage. All labor is donated.

What is the La Crosse Curling Club Inc?

The La Crosse Curling Club is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the lifetime, intergenerational recreational sport of curling. It is governed by a seven- person Board that meets monthly throughout the year.

How can I help?

Please contact the La Crosse Curling Club at 608-406-4884 or lacrossecurling@gmail.com.

© 2020 LA CROSSE CURLING CLUB

The LA CROSSE CURLING CLUB is a registered 501(c)(3) under federal tax guidelines.