Churches: Roncalli Newman Center

La Crosse, WI

The Roncalli Newman Center was built in 1962 to serve the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse campus Catholic community. The facility was originally designed to seat 250 people in a circular plan, but as the campus ministry prospered, it became a 450-family parish church in addition to serving a growing student population. The renovation of the church sought to retain the distinctive “up close” and “in-the-round” feel of the initial building, but with quality seating for 500 people. The renovated and expanded facility grows outward from the original circular Sanctuary, with the skylight oculus hovering over the Altar, and retaining the spiritual ethos of the original church in a renewed and contemporary way. The renovations also included a small addition to the front of the building facing the campus, that includes the expanded offices for the church staff, as well as a larger entry vestibule in the back, with direct access to the parking lot.