Dependable Erection

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Duke Park bathhouse followup

So i had a conversation with a DP&R staffer last night after the Coffee with Council session. The way i understand it, the Duke Park bathhouse has deteriorated to the point where city inspectors cannot give it a Certificate of Occupancy (CO), meaning that the city cannot legally lease it to the neighborhood association.

The city of Durham, of course, has no plans to bring the building into compliance, and no money to do so even if it had the plans.

The neighborhood association believes that we can raise the funds and attract the volunteer efforts needed to rehab the building, but we can't do so until it has a CO.

Can you say Catch-22? I knew you could.

If i had any faith in the city's ability to, ahem, erect a replacement facility within my lifetime, i wouldn't have that much of a problem with tearing the old bathhouse down. But, alas, the city's demonstrated erection capabilities are not so dependable. Much as i like preserving the past, my main interest here is functionality. Working bathrooms, for a starter. Meeting space for the neighborhood. Educational and cultural programs for the larger community. As a practical matter, we're not going to get a new building to meet those needs, and the only reason we can't get the existing building to meet them is a lack of imagination.

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  • Barry

    I do believe that DP&R has spent the funds to bring the old Lyon Park building up to code. Perhaps you can explore that precedent.


    By Blogger Gary, at 1:36 PM  

  • thanks Gary. i'll look into that and bring it up with Patrick Baker if it turns out to be the case.

    The problem, though, is that no funds were allocated for Duke Park from the 2005 bond issue.

    When i raised this issue with Parks and Rec in the runup to the election, i was told that no one from the neighborhood sat on the Citizens Capital Improvement Committee, which recommended projects to be included in the bond fund.

    As i said earlier, i was naive to believe that because DP&R had developed a multi-phase park renovation plan, they wouldn't need to badgered on a constant basis to remind them of that plan. I won't make that mistake again.

    By Blogger Barry Ragin, at 2:01 PM  

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