By Brandee Walker
July 20, 2008
The Ketchikan Gateway Borough's recent decision to move their
offices to the White Cliff School building is welcome news: the
historic building's place within our City is well worth retaining.
However, it should be remembered that the White Cliff School
as a building AND as a site are public assets. The recent removal
of the A-Frame by Dawson Construction has opened up a substantial
quantity of land for use by the public. It's to be expected
that a portion of the former playground area will be turned into
parking for the building's inhabitants: However, this also provides
the community an opportunity to create a new green space, a park
within our extremely busy city.
Where the Downtown and Bear Valley neighborhoods have the nearby
City Park and the Carlanna and Baranof areas have Alder Park,
the residential neighborhoods between those areas are sorely
in need of a green space. With its central location, the White
Cliff School site is perfectly located to accommodate this need.
In addition, Borough Staff, off-duty fish processing employees,
and several nearby churches would certainly enjoy a quiet area
for relaxation. This would also make a nice segue between the
industrial area of Tongass Ave. and the neighborhoods above.
This is also an opportunity to glorify one of our public structures:
too often Ketchikan's buildings are towers within a sea of asphalt
(see: the Federal Building, Plaza Port West, etc.). An inviting
public space located adjacent the Borough Offices is ideal for
the body that has within it the Parks and Recreation Department.
We live within a rain-forest: let's take this opportunity to
let some green into a busy industrious city. Nothing major just
something nice. Our town is in desperate need of more visually
Received July 19, 2008 - Published
July 20, 2008
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