Stand up for public space |

Stand up for public space

Dear Editor:

The new art museum is to be 30,000 square feet when the existing is about 7,500 square feet. There are no guarantees that this new museum will be built with the existing community-shared space, particularly on property AAM will own, and will build with their own private funds.

While the museum is opened to the public and tourists, it has over the years served, and will continue to serve, a narrower and narrower segment of our community by eliminating local art groups, local artists and community needs. Any future art museum facility, built with private funds, will serve only one segment of the community.

A new art museum will NOT provide the jobs that they say this large construction project will create. This is a false premise since large developments such as this always hire their own teams of outside plumbers, electricians, designers, furniture companies and labor force. It is cheaper to have everything trucked in from outside the city, and even the state. This privately run museum already has hired an international architect to design the building (not a local one).

These large development projects put greater burden on our local infrastructure and housing. This project is four times larger than the existing museum and is located on prime, irreplaceable city property. What mitigation will the AAM make with any affordable or employee housing that this huge development, in the middle of our town, will generate?

It is time to stand up for our publicly owned land and facilities, which serve a variety of public uses and are guaranteed to do so in the future! To sell them off to private nonprofits with no guarantees that they will include public mixed-uses, community meeting halls for theater, community dances and county meetings rooms would be a mistake!

Junee Kirk


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