Board chairman responds to nomination of Resource Center as endangered historic buildingThe Minnesota Preservation Alliance in St. Paul announced this week that the Jackson County Resource Center, specifically the school building constructed in 1938, will be included in their annual list of ‘endangered buildings’ in Minnesota.
By: Jackson County Press Release, Worthington Daily Globe
The following is a press release issued by Jackson County and has not been edited by the Daily Globe.
The Minnesota Preservation Alliance in St. Paul announced this week that the Jackson County Resource Center, specifically the school building constructed in 1938, will be included in their annual list of ‘endangered buildings’ in Minnesota.
The following is a statement from Jackson County Board Chair Roger Ringkob regarding that announcement:
“Given their mission to advocate on behalf of building preservation, the Alliance’s action is not surprising. We agree with the Alliance that saving these old buildings is desirable. However as representatives of Jackson County taxpayers we have the additional responsibility to ask: “At what cost?” and “How will Jackson County residents be best served?”
It’s unfortunate that the Alliance’s occasional visits and tours since last December do not acknowledge the nearly 8 years of renovation and reuse considerations that elected officials like us and dozens of other Jackson County citizens have given our old schools.
Expert after expert has agreed that preserving and renovating these buildings to office standards would be more costly and, unfortunately, preserve the wasteful inefficiencies of the existing buildings. In the whole time we’ve researched and considered every option exhaustively no public or private sector organization or institution has identified a cost-effective approach to preserving and/or reusing these old school buildings.
To be clear, the Preservation Alliance is an advocacy group with a special interest in preserving old buildings. They bring no official authority or ability to help fund the remodeling and preservation efforts they advocate for in Jackson County. In their visits to Jackson County, the Alliance has not studied the specific costs associated with renovating these buildings and they don’t propose any specific or viable renovation plan either.
Contrary to the Alliance’s suggestions, we have considered all options, but with the additional responsibilities we have to the citizens and taxpayers of Jackson County, we’ve been repeatedly reminded that it’s simply impractical and short-sighted to try and preserve our history by simply preserving the buildings in which that history happened.”