Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

 
 

By CVN Staff 

Opinion

 

October 6, 2011



Borough assembly members owe the public an explanation on what happened to the idea of renovating the old gym and classrooms into a recreation center. Or, better yet, a vote.

Consider:

· The borough’s own scientific opinion survey in May found that 71 percent of residents supported converting the building into a recreation center with multi-purpose rooms.

· Borough-hired architects in 2010 identified the existing building as the municipality’s least expensive option – by far – for a rec center.

· The borough’s $40,000 downtown plan identified the school site as a potential centerpiece of downtown redevelopment.

· Well and Fit Community Council submitted to the borough a business plan for using the building as a wellness center, including information on similar ventures in other towns.

· Working independently, Dawson Construction, MRV Architects and the borough facility director each reached a rough estimate of $3.3 million for renovating the structure.

It’s not too late. The assembly could delay an awarded contract on demolishing the structure and call a special election to ask the voters to decide a $3.3 million bond for building renovation.

A renovated old school gym may be the only recreation center local voters are willing to fund, but it won’t be an option if demolition goes ahead. -- Tom Morphet