Old auditorium should have been part of original plans

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

They say hind sight is 20/20, and with or without the corrective lens of memory, that's usually true.

There are many times we wish we would have spoken up when we saw things running off the track, afraid to be nay-sayers "on the wrong side of history."

Even when we think we're right in the end, looking back can provide a glimpse of how we might have been "righter" had we spoken up or made our point more forcefully, or adopted a different position entirely.

Some issues that come to mind include purchase of the old Army Air Base as a source for city drinking water, investment in a kit aircraft company, building a single city/county facility for jail, fire and administration instead of two separate facilities we wound up with, and on and on.

Notice there was no single, easy answer for most of the examples we cited, but it still would have been more satisfying to assume a strong position, one side or another.

Looking back, Memorial Auditorium -- that's what's engraved on the front -- should have played a bigger role in the city's decision to build new offices, police and fire facilities.

Now that the city has settled into its new digs, most of us are fine with the corrugated, industrial architectural theme of the building. "Like" might be taking it a little too far, but most of the public can "tolerate" the facility, which, admittedly, serves its intended purposes much more efficiently than the old non-ADA compliant council chambers in the basement of the auditorium, or the "holding facility" and fire barn down by the railroad tracks.

Moving the police, fire and city administration into the new facilities was supposed to result in a savings to the taxpayer, and may yet, but not this year, according to a close look at budget documents.

The building, closed to even morning walkers, continues to drain the city coffers, with virtually nothing to show in return.

Had taxpayers known that they would still be forking over tens of thousands of dollars to maintain an empty building long after the city had move out, the new building might not have been built at all.

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  • I would like to see someone convert this to condos. For people over 55. Such an attractive building and good location.

    -- Posted by bob s on Thu, Aug 28, 2014, at 1:04 PM
  • Any chance of a "second in a series" that includes ideas?

    -- Posted by hulapopper on Fri, Aug 29, 2014, at 8:47 PM
  • The new city offices and police dept. offices are ok. But, the wasted space should have been looked at instead of the "fancy" look as someone sees when walking in the door. Hind sight is 20/20. They don't even look at that. Spend money and have a fancy building designed and POOf! The money is gone and a new building is in place. Yep, that's right. A new building. Could have made it better by changing a few things. Make it look like part of this town instead of a "big city" monument.

    5 million could have been spent on the auditorium to create a new jail facility. Instead, we have one on main street that isn't completed yet. It was supposed to be done by the end of June. Then July. Now when??? Another money pit that isn't being used when it should be. I'm glad the city and county think everyone around had lots of money.

    -- Posted by edbru on Sat, Aug 30, 2014, at 9:09 AM
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