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People in Marathon County share ideas for Marathon Hall dormitory building

Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 5:42 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The historic Marathon Hall dormitory on the campus of UWSP at Wausau is now owned by Marathon County. People in the community believe the building could be used for support several initiatives.

Pam Anderson is just one of the concerned residents. Since the county gained ownership of the building, she has been in charge of brainstorming with different community members on the building’s next use.

“I’ve coordinated three tours of the facility,” Anderson explained. “A total of about 18 people have gone through it, from about 15 different organizations. Some are developers on their own… others are nonprofit organizations.”

Anderson said people in the community would prefer to see the building being used for affordable housing, office space for local nonprofits or temporary housing for Afghan refugees.

“It could be used for housing for individuals that are housing-challenged right now, to make sure people don’t become homeless,” Anderson explained. “There is some type of conversation with maybe this a good housing structure for senior citizens.”

She said she has had conversations with the Salvation Army, Bridge Street Mission and other organizations that house the homeless population in Marathon County.

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the annual income to afford a one-bedroom apartment in Marathon County is almost $25,000.

Chair of the Marathon County Board of Supervisors, Kurt Gibbs, said while plans have not been established yet, the county is thinking ahead.

“The Westside Master Plan is so critical in looking at long term needs for the county, along with the UWSP facilities, the park, the highway department,” Gibbs explained.

The plan is a 15-year comprehensive plan the county uses for buildings, facilities and land owned by Marathon County in Wausau, according to the website.

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