News Release

Published on Wednesday, November 21, 2007

LA CROSSE, Wis—On Tuesday, November 13, the Wisconsin Technical College System Board unanimously approved Western Technical College’s request to construct building additions and perform remodeling to develop the Lunda Center. The Lunda Center is a community and conference training center to be located on the La Crosse Campus. With the WTCS Board approval, Western can move forward in the construction and remodeling project by going out for bids.

Western’s president, Lee Rasch, said that the WTCS Board was impressed with the amount of community support that was raised through the Building a Legacy capital campaign. The campaign raised $2.5 million in local support from a number of businesses in the region, with the largest donation coming from Milt and Lidy Lunda and the Lunda Charitable Trust in Black River Falls. It is believed that this may be the largest fundraising event in the state, without direct partnering with one organization, for the Wisconsin Technical College System. Rasch said that he wasn’t surprised by the overwhelming support of area businesses for the center. “Businesses in the area know Western, and know that when it comes to workforce development and growing the regional economy Western plays a huge role,” said Rasch. “The Lunda Center will help us address the growing skilled worker shortage, providing the space and resources to train and educate incumbent workers who may be looking to upgrade their skills or looking for a career change,” Rasch added.

The building construction and remodeling is scheduled to start in the spring of 2008, with a completion date of fall 2009. In addition to the building remodeling and construction, the campus courtyard between the Coleman and Kumm Centers will also be renovated. This renovation project will continue the Building a Legacy campaign by providing community members and friends of Western the opportunity to purchase a brick or star to be placed in the courtyard. Individuals interested in finding out more about the Building a Legacy campaign can go to the Western Web site at and click on Building a Legacy. To learn about Western Technical College programs and services, call 608.785.9200 or visit the Web site at

Western Technical College serves the region’s need for education and training from seven campus locations in La Crosse, Black River Falls, Independence, Mauston, Sparta, Tomah, and Viroqua. Students can complete associate’s degrees, technical diplomas, or skills based certificates, and customized training and education programs for business and industry. One in five community members throughout the Western district attends the college annually.

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