Open Forum: Ignorant and short-sighted | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Open Forum: Ignorant and short-sighted

Posted: October 2, 2011 - 8:37pm

I can’t believe how ignorant and short-sighted our state policy makers are in regard to the demolition of the Brained Regional Human Services Center (BRHSC) (former state hospital).

Building 4 is an educational building with classrooms, home economics department, wood shop, exercise facility, canteen, basketball court, and many other amenities. I can’t believe these can’t be utilized in some manner by our school system or some other education providers; someone is asleep at the switch.

Propaganda is being spread about an asbestos problem in the buildings and how much it would cost to do an asbestos abatement and remodel. Most of the asbestos was removed years ago at a cost of millions of taxpayers’ dollars. I understand there is still some there in tiles and pipe wrapping. The fact that MN Neurorehabilitation Hospital and Minnesota Care are successfully inhabiting two of the buildings out there is testament that remodeling can be done and effectively.

 The state has never seriously tried to find a use for BRHSC.  Complacency? It could be used as a home our our aging and disabled veterans. Another would be as a short-term homeless shelter or transitional low income housing. Many people are losing their homes and can’t find living quarters. Child care services could also be provided for those with jobs.  Another income use could be for those attending our colleges. Just a bicycle or bus ride away. How about light industry?

Smarten up people. This doesn’t have to happen. What ideas do you have? Let your governor and state senators and representatives know.

Retha Hawley

Merrifield