Community Improvements Suggested

(09/05/2003)

Dear Editor,

The time has come to, as they say, "fish or cut bait" concerning a couple of ideas I have for a pair of Calhoun buildings.

I am specifically speaking of the old Calhoun County High School and the Grantsville Town Building. I think both have great value and both are salvageable and hold great promise.

My ideas are:

(1) I would suggest using the old high school for a center for creation, distribution and teaching of folk art. We have many artisans in Calhoun County -- people who have many talents to build and create things - but we have no outlet for them. Since the old high school has a buyer who plans to turn the "school" part of it into senior citizen housing and since this buyer has hinted the other part of the facilities (gymnasium, cafeteria, shop and band room) might be demolished if no one has any plans for it, it would appear to me those facilities may make a perfect venue for Calhoun craftsmen and artisans. I feel certain there would be funding available for renovation of the buildings and startup of something that would create jobs and provide an outlet for sales of hand-built crafts.

( 2) I would hope the new director of the Calhoun EMS would seriously look into obtaining the old Grantsville VFD building, which is adjacent to the current town hall, as a center for the squad. The old VFD building has five bays - two downstairs and three upstairs - for ambulances and a floor above the bays that could be used for quarters for the EMS personnel and offices. Yes, I know of the dilapidated condition of the building and the asbestos problem however it is my understanding that there is already funding available for a new EMS building. This funding could be used for repairing the VFD part of the building. This would allow the Town of Grantsville to need only to find funds for repair and renovations to the part of the faculties used for town offices - something that would be doable without the cost of dealing with the old VFD building.

These are ideas, I feel, whose time has come. We need to seriously look into doing both things. Instead of look for reasons "why not" on these two sites it is time to look for reasons and ways to move forward.

Oh, yes, on another possibility for future growth and expansion of services for the Town of Grantsville and Calhoun County may I suggest finding a way, perhaps a walking trail along the Little Kanawha River, to tie the city park (swimming pool, tennis courts and picnic area) in with the Wayne Underwood Youth Sports Complex. It makes little sense for those two entities not to work together especially since it would be of great benefit to both.

Thank you, and hoping we can work together to maintain and improve on what we have.

Cordially,

Gaylen Duskey, Grantsville, WV