Archived Story

How would you save the Kirkbride? [UPDATED]

Published 1:29pm Tuesday, September 21, 2010 Updated 3:09pm Tuesday, September 21, 2010

If you haven’t heard, the latest in a seemingly endless parade of Kirkbride-saving ideas is here. One of the principals in Campus Development Group, the organization that at one time wanted to turn the buildings on the RTC property into an international business school, is now proposing that the area be converted into a center where disabled veterans can be reintegrated to civilian life.

The plan sounds promising enough. Such a center could presumably be financially sustainable, the idea would likely get federal government support, and supporting veterans is always a great idea.

However, people who have followed the twists and turns in the RTC’s fate know that they should save their optimism until the remodelers actually show up in town. The Kirkbride building, for all of its beauty and history, isn’t the most bankable structure in Fergus.

Most people in town want to save the building, but many, including me, aren’t sure how it can be put to good use.

My question to you is this: what would you do to save the Kirkbride?

We need a couple of ground rules first. The idea has to be theoretically possible for a town of this size, and, most importantly, the idea has to be financially sustainable.

That means no ideas like “We could use it for a movie,” because, while it would probably increase profits at some area businesses, filmmakers would spend little or no money to use the building itself, thus keeping it financially unsustainable. You have to come up with an idea that would support the structure, be it through tourism or admission fees or state or federal support.

So get cracking. How would you save the Kirkbride?

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  • ackerjohnson

    I would sell the Kirkbride to the Friends of the Kirkbride for one dollar, to do with as they wish. I would also give them any available State funds appropriated for demolition or upgrade of the building.
    They have the best interests of the institution at heart and would not abuse the trust.

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