Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Fred Fedorak: Letter to City Council

To: Penticton City Council:

I have written letters to the editors of the two local papers, Herald and Advertiser in regard to the planned destruction of the Pen Hi auditorium and gymnasium. I have also sent a copy of the same letter to Council and School District 67. This note is to make you aware of this action on my part, and to also make a personal appeal to you to try and save these venues for the good of the community.

Because School District 67 is not interested in preserving the above buildings, I believe that the only way that they can be saved for community use, is for the City of Penticton to come to some form of arrangement with the School District to transfer those buildings to the City. Which, I realize that it also means the transfer of maintenance and upgrade costs.

I understand that you have a significant number of projects that are at the top of your priority list. We have two structurally sound buildings with the possibility of several years of usage that can never be replaced without significant overwhelming construction costs. Granted substantial money has to be made available to up grade the buildings so they can stand alone When they are destroyed, we will have asphalt to take their place, which translates into considerably more parking spaces which will be more than adequate for school usage. If we do not make a concentrated effort to conclude an accommodation with the School District, we could miss a great opportunity to prevent the loss of two very sound buildings. To me this does not make very good economic sense.

Before the Arts Council obtains the financing for their planned Arts Center, what building will they use for their needs? Would it not be prudent to keep the auditorium in use until such time as money becomes available? What is wrong with putting the new Arts Center in the same location as the present site of the auditorium? >From my perspective, if the building goes down, that group no longer has a suitable venue for current use.

Please consider what impact the loss of four venues, Pen HI Auditorium, Pen Hi South Gym, Pen HI North Gym and Nanaimo Hall will have on the community. With our growing and ageing population, demand for recreational and performing arts venues will increase not decrease in demand,

If financing is not available what is wrong with mothballing the sites until Council has the funds to upgrade and maintain them? It makes no sense to upgrade and save one site and not the other that is why I have combined my appeal to save both buildings.

Respectfully submitted

Fred Fedorak
Citizen of Penticton since 1959

No comments: