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The Scoop 3-24
Stop spending on the Blue Building
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Whether it should still be called the Blue Building is a topic for rich debate.
How long can you continue to call a structure that's slowly sinking into the ground a building? How long before it's called the Blue Pile of Rubble?
The city is determined to find out.
In the case of our Blue Building, or perhaps more aptly named our Blue Whatchamacallit, it's a facility which just had a gapping hole patched in its roof. That's a makeshift and very temporary repair said to be good for about six months, maybe a year. After that, a new roof is badly needed and estimated to cost between $120,000 and $180,000. That sounds like real money.
So the Blue Building is pretty close to being a building without a roof.
As for its walls, those aren't exactly in sparkling shape either. The Blue Building isn't far from being a three-sided structure after the gym and auditorium were demolished more than three years ago.
Where the auditorium once attached to the Blue Building is a glaring, three-story hole that's being covered by sheet metal. The sheet metal does the job of masking the hole, but it's just a notch above cardboard and duct tape.
Then there's the basement, a breeding ground for mold, fungi and spiders. The police department had its share of complaints about the basement when it was located there -- and that was back in 2009. Imagine what kind of varmints and bacteria infest the basement now.
All this being said, city officials are still at a loss for what to do with this giant Blue Whatchamacallit, which embodies everything that's old and decrepit.
More than 10 studies costing over $100,000 in taxpayer dollars have yet to yield one viable use for this shining example of decay. Does anyone think just one more study might finally unlock the secret to a remarkable future for this listing structure?
It's been said a local developer has interest in being given the Blue Building and its surrounding 4 acres, the latest magical cure to come down the pike.
Once upon a time, a company called StrategicWire was going to restore the Blue Building and add 125 jobs in the process. That turned out to be a fairy tale, yet it's symbolic of the Blue Building's plight.
Practical uses for this tired former school house seem to be disappearing faster than stage coaches at the strike of midnight. What we're left with is a rotten pumpkin.
If the city can manage to give this "building" away to an entrepreneur who can pull a rabbit from a hat, I say congratulations. Make the Blue Building great again.
But the city should keep our tax dollars in its wallet when it comes to any more repairs to the roof or any other aspect of the building.
If any other taxpayer dollars are to be allocated to this wilting display of brick, it should be for the purpose of leveling and removing the Blue Building from the property.
Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.