Auburn land swap ignores community | MY TURN
April 14, 2010 · Updated 3:10 PM
Here we go again.
Green River Community College has once more forgotten what the third word of their name means.
Some eight years ago they designed a student housing complex that would have lorded over the back yards of their home-owning neighbors. With legal intervention of the homeowners, a fair amount of animus and three years of time, they opened a much better village using a reworked design that included lowering the buildings by a story and moving them back a total of 80 feet with a green space sound and visual barrier.
Now once again they have toiled behind closed doors, without community input, to come up with the idea of sandwiching a new industrial arts complex between two areas of single family homes and their own day care center. Not an academic or administration building, but an industrial skills center. This comes complete with the piles of metal stock, cars awaiting parting or repair, stores of compressed gases for welding and the sounds associated with this activity. The location will be prime real estate replacing two community baseball fields, a playground and tennis courts. This will be the first view someone will get of the college as he or she drives by on city roads.
This involves a clever land swap with the City of Auburn, but one cannot help but wonder what folks who once congratulated themselves on buying a house with the view of ball fields will feel about looking at workshops and industrial activity instead. The crack of the bat and the cheers of the crowd don’t quite equal the sounds of the pounding and grinding of metal.
Now this is in the realm of the Golden Rule. How would you like to be treated if this was at the end of your block, across the street from your home? Why didn’t GRCC learn from the last time they tried to impact the people who are their neighbors without asking for their input?
For an institution of higher learning they clearly have not learned, and frankly, the college’s administration must be given a failing grade on working well with others.
Russ Campbell is a Rainier Ridge resident.