Vacant Downtown Site to Become a Courtyard

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219 Bridge Street in Chippewa Falls has been empty ever since Seyforth's Card and Gift Shop burned down in 1988.

This year, Chippewa Falls Main Street, Inc. and the city of Chippewa Falls started construction of a courtyard. The estimated cost for the park is $25,000 but organizers say half of the supplies and labor have been donated.

After the Chippewa Falls High School marching band bus crash last month, city officials decided to call the site "Harmony Park" to honor the victims.

"I think this really just shows music and the arts are alive and well in Chippewa Falls High School and the community," says Chi-Hi principal Jim Sauter.

Designers set aside space in the park for a stage and are hoping besides sitting or eating outside, they will also be able to attend outdoor concerts.

"Maybe we'll get some high school groups that want to come down and do some entertaining in the evening on weekends during the summer," Jim Schuh, the director of Chippewa Falls Main Street, Inc.

The park is expected to be finished next spring, but murals will be added to the surrounding walls in August of 2006.