Mission and History

Amie L. Mathy Center


The mission of the Amie L. Mathy Center is to promote the physical, recreational, and educational development of students of all ages. 


In the late 1990s, Viterbo University announced that it was building a recreational center for its students and for the kids of the south side. At the same time, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse were looking either to buy a building or land on which to construct a similar facility. When Dan Gelatt, a member of Viterbo’s National Advisory Council and a member of the Club’s Board of Directors, realized that the two organizations had a common goal, he proposed that both organizations come together and jointly fundraise and construct one facility that would be used by both organizations. The separate dreams of each organization merged conceptually into a single dream in autumn of 2000 when the staffs of the two organizations began meeting on a common goal. In June of 2001, representatives of the two organizations met to determine the scheduling and whether or not a single facility could be used jointly by both groups.

In the spring of 2002, representatives of the Board of Trustees of Viterbo University and representatives of the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse began meeting on the Viterbo campus. Their goal was to fashion an agreement which became known as the “Lease and Shared Use Agreement.”

On July 8, 2003, the two organizations announced that a new recreational and educational center would be built on the Viterbo campus – the first of its kind between a university and a club. A campaign was launched to raise $7.5 million under the leadership of co-campaign chairs, John Desmond and Scott Mathy. Less than two years later the campaign was brought to its successful conclusion.

With the roar of engines, two giant backhoes owned by Mathy Construction, broke through the blacktop on the land that would become the future Amie L. Mathy Center for Recreation and Education. Construction essentially remained on schedule with substantial completion of the project done by Sept. 2, 2005. Then on Sept. 9, a benefactor dinner was held with the grand opening taking place on Sept. 10. 

On Sept. 10, 2010, the Boys & Girls Club of the Greater La Crosse Area and Viterbo University celebrated the five years of collaboration and the fifth anniversary of the Amie L. Mathy Center.