[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The B-Town Park Blog nor its staff:]

Save Normandy Park City Hall’s Gym/Classrooms

It’s come to my attention that the Normandy Park City Manager intends to recommend the condemnation of our city hall gym and classrooms. A completed building assessment is part of the council packet (see https://normandypark.civicweb.net/filepro/documents/42371?preview=43839) which, after reading it, appears to be trying hard to make the case to demolish the building. Much in the way that when you are purchasing a house, you want a house inspector to find as much negative conditions as possible so you can use it to negotiate a lower price. As a couple of examples, the report calls out weeds on the exterior and the “rec center” sign as needing to be cleaned.

I don’t doubt that the building needs retrofitting to insure it meets Life Safety standards in the event of an earthquake. However, the gym/classrooms provides critical services to families with young children and elderly people in our community. So until funding for a new building is in place, I would try to turn every stone to extend the existing building’s service.

Firstly, I hope the council will consider having a second building assessment conducted by an inspector selected by the council themselves to insure we have an unbiased evaluation.

Also, the report lists the estimated costs for critical repairs at $1.4 million. I’d also like to have the critical repairs put up for competitive bids before deciding whether to retrofit or condemn the building.

I don’t personally use the facility anymore; I’m standing in support of young families and elderly neighbors that find this resource critically important to their lives. We live in a special place where we put a high value on “community”. I want us to be very careful before we eliminate this central gathering place without a plan in place for its replacement.

If you feel the same, please come to the Normandy Park City Council meeting on June 11 (City Hall) at 7 p.m. and let your presence be felt and/or voice be heard on this critical issue.

– John Nelson

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