Assistance from Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation will support renovation of historic auditorium

ST. CROIX FALLS, WI. July 12, 2016 – The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) today awarded a $500,000 grant to the city of St. Croix Falls to help fund the restoration and expansion of the historic Civic Auditorium.

The 8,130-square-foot facility was built in 1916, and for the past 25 years has been home to Festival Theatre, a professional theater company. The expansion will add an additional 8,080 square feet to the downtown theater.

WEDC’s Community Development Investment Grant Program supports community development and redevelopment efforts—primarily in downtown areas—throughout the state. Awards for the competitive program are based on the ability of applicants to demonstrate the impact of the proposed project, including public and private partnership development, financial need, and use of sustainable downtown development practices.

“Community Development Investment Grants are an extremely effective vehicle for improving communities for those who live and work in them,” said Mark Hogan, secretary and CEO of WEDC, who was in St. Croix Falls Tuesday to announce the grant. “We are confident this investment in the civic auditorium will help spur additional business and community development in St. Croix Falls.”

The restoration and expansion of the Civic Auditorium is a catalyst for commercial redevelopment of adjacent property with the potential to create 70 full-time and part-time hospitality and performing arts jobs as well as local construction jobs.

“One hundred years ago, city leaders had the foresight and courage to bring culture, art and entertainment to the valley by constructing the Civic Auditorium,” said St. Croix Falls Mayor Brian Blesi, who joined other local leaders at the grant announcement Tuesday. “This project builds on that legacy.”

The announcement was made as Hogan and other WEDC officials engaged with business and community leaders in western Wisconsin as part of Governor Scott Walker’s Cabinet on the Road event this week.


About the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing Wisconsin’s business climate. Together with more than 600 regional and local business development partners, it represents a highly responsive and coordinated network. Visit or follow WEDC on Twitter @_InWisconsin to learn more.