More Thoughts on the Ketchikan
by Robert D. Warner
March 14, 2004
Note: Comments published
on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
I was delighted to read that many folks advocate maintaining
the Ketchikan Public Library in its present location. This setting
is beautiful with Ketchikan Creek offering special enjoyment
to those who use the library. Assets of this unique location
could never be replaced by building a expensive "white elephant"
on the top of a parking garage.
We also should remember that the current Centennial Building's
architecture likely requires only modest rennovations if the
museum moved and the library stayed. A museum rennovation would
be a major expense and likely cost more than construction of
a new building.
Unfortunately these ideas seem to be ignored by current library
management. Do we really need a new public library? What ever
happened to these plans developed several years ago to move the
museum into a new building and keep the public library in the
About 15 years ago a group of citizens from both the library
and museum got together to plan for the future of the Centennial
Building. There was general agreement that, if the city continued
to grow, one of the two departments should plan on moving to
a new facility.
With this understanding that the current Centennial Building
could be economically updated to serve the needs of a library,
a museum rennovation would be very costly and require major reconstruction
of the building, it was recommended that the museum should move
into a new facility and the library should stay in the Centennial
I believe a feasibility study was completed for construction
of a new museum building. The project was later placed on hold
when the mill closed.
Who suddenly determined that Ketchikan should build a new library
and the museum should stay in the Centennial Building after expensive
Why is it now more cost effective to build a new library and
then rennovate the current facility for museum use when the opposite
was determined a few years ago?
What are the implications of such projects on taxes we have to
I am troubled because it appears that special interests are promoting
two expensive projects at a time that the community clearly cannot
afford tax increases. We would also be spending a fortune on
a library structure that lacks the unique setting and charm now
revered by library patrons.
Robert D. Warner
Ketchikan, AK - USA
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