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Community groups see common ground for Seminary building | Letter
We are writing to set the record straight on the position of Friends of Saint Edward State Park regarding a pending proposal for the Seminary building and to offer perspectives of two key community groups.
At this point, the Friends group has not taken a stand opposing a potential tenant for the Seminary Building. In fact, the charter of the Friends of Saint Edward State Park requires that the group act in support of efforts by the State Parks Commission.
Members of the Families for Active Parks in Kenmore and the Friends group have met and see potential for common ground between our organizations – and the community at large - as follows:
• The Saint Edwards Seminary building is a panoramic, historic building that is rapidly decaying and needs a significant infusion of funding to be preserved;
• It would be a tragedy for our community and region to lose this facility, and yet we must be creative to save it as State Parks is financially strapped and will not see any significant state funding for the foreseeable future;
• There are ways to fulfill key objectives of the “CAMP” document done for Saint Ed’s in October 2008 in a way that combines restoration of the Seminary Building, preservation of historic spaces, and enhancement of recreational facilities;
• We’re encouraged that an individual who could more cost-effectively site his cyber-security office space anywhere in Kenmore is considering up to $40 million in Seminary building renovations and significant upgrades to surrounding grounds and recreational facilities, out of love for the State Park;
• We see value in State Parks approving an initial short-term occupancy agreement so a more thoughtful long-term process can proceed.
Still, we believe much more information is necessary to vet this proposal for the long-term.
We stand ready to speak to the importance of this proposal, in a productive way, at the Jan. 14 public meeting and thereafter.
Friends of Saint Edward State Park President Heather Kaminsky and
Families for Active Parks in Kenmore President Mike Mulcare