Couple hundred turn out for RTC employee reunionPublished 10:58am Friday, June 7, 2013
The sun finally broke through the clouds late Thursday afternoon, casting its brightness on the grounds of the Regional Treatment Center where former employees of the RTC gathered for a picnic.
As the crowd waited in line to get their plates filled with a hot dog, chips and a heaping helping of baked beans, some of them were asked what should be done with the RTC building.
Many of them pleaded for it to be saved.
“Leave it,” said Jo Beck, who worked at the RTC for 29 years starting in 1976. “Don’t tear it down. I don’t know why they want to demolish this.”
As far as ideas for the RTC, Beck said college students could stay there. Just ahead of her in line, Fergus Falls resident and former RTC employee Punky Loomer suggested turning it into a museum or hotel. There are just too many memories there to tear it down, she said.
“It’s a work of art,” Loomer said. “This is a whole world in itself.”
Romayne Harrington was another former employee who would like to see the RTC saved. She worked there for 20 years in the dietary department. She was married to her husband in 1946, and they spent about the first month of their marriage on the third floor of the RTC.
“A lot of history in this place for me,” Harrington said. “I do not want it to be demolished ever. It’s a very wonderful part of my life.”