Western Technical College will hold a Grand Opening for the newly completed Coleman Center, 304 6th Street North, on Thursday, Oct. 13, from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will start at 10:00, followed by an open house with refreshments and tours of the facility. The event is free and open to the public.
As part of the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the college will posthumously recognize John B. Coleman with the Western Legacy Award. Coleman was the school’s director from 1916-1963.
“The Legacy Award is given to individuals who have made an extraordinary and lasting contribution to the development of the college and its students,” said Lee Rasch, Western president. “John Coleman was the director during the formative years. He led the college through many changes, growing it from a type of reform school to a technical institute. He improved the reputation of the school and laid the foundation for what we are today. Mr. Coleman definitely fits the criteria for this award.”
Named after the long-seated director, the Coleman Center sits on the original site of the La Crosse Vocation School, which was established in 1912. Following a fire that destroyed the building, a new facility was built in 1924. Several additions were made to the building through the years, but the 92-year-old building remains the cornerstone even today. Although it may look new and modern inside, the original exterior and some of the architectural elements remain intact.
The recent remodeling started in 2013 as part of Western’s Vision 2020 facilities plan, which was supported by the 2012 voter referendum.
For more information about programs and services at Western, call 608-785-9200.