WISCONSIN RAPIDS (WAOW) -
The future of a Wisconsin Rapids building, that housed a newspaper and a radio station, is up to the community.
The Incourage Community Foundation purchased the former Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune building in December 2012, for around $500,000.
Now the organization wants local residents to come together and decide its next use.
"This is one way that we can share an example of how to engage residents in the decision-making processes that effect them on a daily basis," said Kristi Anderson, Co-project Manager with the Incourage Community Foundation.
The empty downtown building is large, offering 20,000 square feet on three floors.
"It's just about the most ideal location as far as being on the front of the river," said Karen Ghinazzi, Co-project Manager with the Incourage Community Foundation.
Coordinators tell Newsline 9 that the building really can be used for anything.
"It might be all one thing, but it might not be all one thing, it could be something seasonal, during the summer it could be one thing and during the winter it could be another," Anderson said.
The building was built in the 1960's and was designed for heavy newspaper-printing machines.
Leaders with the foundation say the roof could also be used because the building is so sturdy.
"We have a third floor potential roof space that could become open garden or lots of other things that may not have been thought about in the past," said Ghinazzi.
The future of the building will be decided in four public meetings being held once a month until January.
Once an idea is picked and finalized, the Incourage Community Foundation says it will pay for any needed remodeling.
"The encourage community foundation is committed to the resources that it's going to take to renovate the space," said Anderson.
The foundation says the idea of using the public's help to find uses for an important downtown building comes from San Diego.
Foundation leaders traveled there to learn from San Diego's success.
The first meeting on the future of the building is set for Tuesday at the Centralia Center located at 220 Third Avenue in Wisconsin Rapids from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.