Legal action planned to halt demoJACKSON — The Jackson Preservation Alliance intends to take legal action to halt the destruction of the 1938 portion of the Jackson County Resource Center, slated to be demolished so a new Jackson County Human Services building can be built in its place.
JACKSON — The Jackson Preservation Alliance intends to take legal action to halt the destruction of the 1938 portion of the Jackson County Resource Center, slated to be demolished so a new Jackson County Human Services building can be built in its place.
“We’ve worked so hard on this, and there’s so many people that want that building to be saved,” said Cathy Buxengard, president of the Jackson Preservation Alliance.
The group will seek an injunction against the county in order to stop the 1938 building from being torn down. The filing fee for the injunction is $325, and attorney Mark Anfinson, who works with the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota, will perform some legal work for the case at a reduced cost, Buxengard said.
The Jackson County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 to build the new 9,500- to 10,000-square foot Human Services building after earlier selling its old Human Services building, which the county must vacate by Feb. 1. The construction cost for the new building is not to exceed $2.5 million, which the county had already saved for the project.
“We looked at the options that were available, and putting up a new Human Services building was the option that had the consensus of the building committee,” said David Henkels, Jackson County Commissioner. “It’s the most cost-effective option.”
Earlier, the county had proposed demolishing both the 1938 and 1962 portions of the Resource Center in order to build a new Resource Center, which would have included Human Services as well as other county departments. But when Jackson County voters went to the polls in May to vote on whether to bond for the new Resource Center, the measure failed, 1,657 to 717.
Instead of tearing down the entire old Resource Center and building a new one, the county has opted to tear down only the 1938 portion of the Resource Center and put up a Human Services building only, and then add to that building as funds become available.
“It’s a phased project,” Henkels said of the new Human Services building. “We’re doing what the voters told us to do, which is to not bond for a new building.”
More than 40 people attended the last meeting of the Jackson Preservation Alliance, and many of them donated funds for the injunction in an effort to save the 1938 portion of the Resource Center.
“We’ve had architects go through the building, and we’ve had historical people go through the building, and they all say ‘It was meant to last, built to last,’” Buxengard said. “Structurally, it is sound, and they have also said it will outlast any new building that’s put up.”
Buxengard was not sure when the injunction will be filed.
“It just all depends on what the board decides to do,” she said. “Mark Anfinson is making contact with them, and we’ll see what happens, and if we have to go with an injunction, then we will.”
The Jackson Preservation Alliance’s next meeting will be 7 p.m. Aug. 19 at the Jackson American Legion.