Letter: Old Power House decision | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Old Power House decision

As an Aspen resident for more than 40 years, I could not be more disappointed and saddened by the City Council’s decision to give the Old Power House building to a brew pub instead of the Aspen Science Center.

I am sad for the seniors who could have used the science center to learn about modern technology from teens and kids, and then feel purposeful when they taught kids about the changes they have seen. What a beautiful multigenerational connection that could have been.

I’m sad for teens who could have participated in special nights stargazing designed for that age group, where they could mess with telescopes and see the planets and activities that could be fun, exciting and inspiring and keep them from partying.

How cool would it have been when I was growing up here to have something productive to do at night. Who knows, maybe my life would have turned out differently. Does Aspen really need another place to do drugs and another place that people will have to drive after drinking to get home?

I’m so sad for the families and their children,­ both local and visitors, who would have had an amazing place to visit and explore together. It would not be like the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, and we’ve all been to the Aspen Recreation Center a thousand times (though it is awesome), but a science center would be different with always changing activities and exhibits. Just imagine — when the World Cup is in town, it could have done a series on the science of skis or why some people go faster that others. When the bike race is in town, we could have all learned about the latest in racing bicycles and so on. The possibilities could have been endless, and that can’t be said about a brewpub and office space (which could really be housed in any building in town).

Sadly, the Old Power House would have been perfect for learning, exploring and experimenting. How about studying the river, which runs next to the building or planting a garden that produces energy? It seems to me that is how the space is meant to be enjoyed ­by all members of our community.

Finally, and most of all, I’m sad for my 10-year-old son. He loves science and has very little exposure to it. My son was so looking forward to having a science center in Aspen. He loves all the activities here, but we need more for our children (not to take away from all there is, but to add to it). Maybe my son would have had the chance to discover a new antibiotic or invented something that hasn’t even been imagined, yet. Now that chance is gone.

Though I have lost faith in our city council, I still hope the vision of the Aspen Science Center becomes a reality and as a community we will continue to help them find a home.

Leslee Francis


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