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9-R should hold hearings on sale of historic building

I consider support of public schools to be a community and personal responsibility. Consequently, as a community member, I was very disappointed to learn that at a single school board meeting, with little if any community input, the board chose to accept the fire district’s purchase offer for the Durango School District 9-R Administration Building. Other options may have included affordable housing for teachers.

Fiduciary responsibility is very real for 9-R, but it is more complex than a straightforward exchange of money. It might include teacher housing problems and diverse community and neighborhood concerns – part of the social contract.

A fire station between 12th and 13th streets and Third Avenue has many obvious drawbacks. Among them are the following:

  • Truck returns via Main Avenue, up 13th Street, past publicly active Buckley Park, the old Smiley Building open area and Hood Mortuary alley access, would be hazardous.
  • Truck egress from 12th Street onto East Third Avenue, which includes multiple pedestrian crosswalks, obstructed visibility because of parked vehicles and trees, bicycle traffic, church and funeral parking (not to even mention Christmas and Halloween traffic) would be hazardous.
  • Frequent siren noise through a quiet neighborhood.

This community, which supports school bond issues and activities, may not see these issues as I do, but I still would very much like to have open hearings in order to air opinions about the use of a valued community historic property.

Pamela Furze