As you consider the options concerning a new city hall, an expensive tax proposition with no income generating possibilities, I urge you to entertain the idea of a renovated Stoker School as the centerpiece of your plans to revitalize the downtown area. The historic character of Main Street would be enhanced by this restoration, as would the neighborhoods surrounding the school property. As a local example, review the renovation of the Salt Lake Hardware Building at 155 West 400 North in Salt Lake City. This beautiful restoration has become a wonderful office space, fully rented, and a profitable private event space that is in high demand and has recently been included in the Venue Report, which is a collection of prestigious venues, worldwide.
There is much to be learned from the unfortunate trend, in the 1960s and 70s, to tear down many wonderful buildings in favor of “progress.” To this day, we witness ugly, out of place structures, sticking out like “sore thumbs” amid those whose owners have embraced the importance of preserving a connection with our history while thoughtfully and attentively bringing them to modern functionality. The architectural appreciation and foresight of these owners has enhanced the value and reputation of their communities.
I also ask you to consider what a great loss it would be to the community should Bountiful fail to relocate the world class ceramics program that is currently housed at Stoker School. As a long-time ceramicist, I have seldom experienced a studio so well equipped and maintained, fostering so many educational opportunities. Given the fact that enrollment fees have already paid for all the equipment, and that the University would allow on-going classes to use this equipment in a new location, it would be of great benefit to Bountiful to provide new housing (perhaps in some otherwise underutilized facility) for this excellent cultural and educational enhancement to the community.
I do not reside in Davis County but, because of my frequent attendance at the ceramics studio, I shop at Bountiful businesses, eat at Bountiful restaurants, and buy gas at Bountiful stations. I have come to know and appreciate the community for its friendly and distinct atmosphere.